Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Frances Jane van Alstyne Crosby (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915), more commonly known as Fanny Crosby, was an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with over 100 million copies printed. At six weeks old, Crosby caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. Mustard poultices were applied to treat the discharges. According to Crosby, this procedure damaged her optic nerves and blinded her. But, many physicians today, however, “suggest it is much more likely that her blindness was congenital”.
Some of you may have heard of Fanny. Some of you may have not. What an amazing life Fanny led. Her father died the year she was born. Fanny was raised by her mother and grandmother and grounded in Christian principles. Many times, her mother and grandmother would help her memorize long scripture passages from the Bible. At age three, doctors had determined her blindness was permanent. By the age of ten, Fanny was memorizing 5 chapters of the Bible each week. She is an amazing testimony of God’s sufficiency and grace. God gifted her with talents above her disability. She once said, “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me. If I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind…for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”
Well, today’s post is not completely about the story of Fanny Crosby, though, I enjoy reading about her. Today’s post is about what the Holy Spirit brought to my mind when the song, “Draw Me Nearer” came into my mind very late one night. I was facing a time at my work that was very stressful. It was capturing my every thought. I didn’t feel well. I worried for my future. It was affecting my well-being. I was in a place where I had to cry out loud to God. And I did. Then that hymn came to mind and I began to sing the refrain. It’s been with me for some days now and I share this today with you.
Fanny certainly was blessed of God though she was blind. And I am confident that Fanny prayed. You know, we may never be blind. But what the Holy Spirit taught me that night was Fanny received the same measure of love, the same measure of grace, the same measure of mercy in her time of need when she prayed that you and I receive for our needs when we pray. Even though we might never face anything like Fanny did, there is only one kind of love from God and that’s everlasting. There is only one kind of grace from God and that’s undeserving. And there’s only one kind of mercy from God and that’s forever enduring. What you face every day and the prayers that you pray are just as important to God. And God can do great things in you and I as He did for Fanny Crosby because He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
Precious Lord, thank You that You never change. Thank You that You know what we face, you see our heartaches, our disabilities, our struggles and You hear our prayers. Your love, mercy, and grace have not changed and You pour out those gifts to us because we are Yours. Thank You for hearing and answering all of our prayers. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!