Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Jesus, my heart's dear refuge,
Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages
Ever my trust shall be.
I had never imagined that those beautiful lyrics from my favourite hymns, filled with praise and thankfulness, were written by a blind person. 'Safe in the Arms of Jesus', 'Blessed Assurance', and more than 9,000 hymns were written by Francis Jane Crosby (Fanny Crosby).
In the matter of her blindness, Fanny Crosby said: "When I was six weeks old a slight cold caused inflammation of the eyes. Our usual doctor was away from home, so a stranger was called in. He recommended the use of hot poultices, which practically destroyed my sight. When this sad calamity became known, the unfortunate man thought it best to leave the neighbourhood, and we never heard of him again."
"But," she added, "I have not, for a moment, in more than eighty-five years, felt a spark of resentment against him; for I have always believed that the good Lord, in His infinite mercy, by this means consecrated me to the work that I am still permitted to do. When I remember how I have been blessed, how can I repine?"
Fanny Crosby's life story and her hymns has deeply touched my heart. Just like the aspostle Paul, she had learned to be content. She even counted her blindness as a blessing instead of a hindrance. She loved the Lord and memorized the Bible diligently. Her heart overflowed with praise and by singing her hymns, we're reminded of the Lord's grace.
Philippians 4:12-13 -
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Corinthians 12:9 -
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.