Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

The Life of Fanny - To God’s Glory

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

Frances “Fanny” Jane Crosby was born on 24 March 1820, in Putnam County, New York. In her own words she tells the moving account of how she became blind:

"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."

Incredibly Fanny 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?"

What a marvellous illustration of the way in which God can enable us to rise above our trials, and can "make all things work together for good to those who love Him" (Rom 8:28).

Fanny resolved when she was quite a young child that her blindness should not make her unhappy, or prevent her from being useful in the world; she never allowed those around her to pity her because she was blind.

She wrote:

"Darkness may throw a shadow over my outer vision, but there is no cloud that can keep the sunlight of hope from a trustful soul. One of the earliest resolves that I formed in my young and joyous heart was to leave all care to yesterday, and to believe that the morrow would bring its own peculiar joy."

The influence of her grandmother on a young Fanny was truly significant. Again she wrote:

"She was a woman of exemplary piety, and a firm believer in prayer. At even time she often used to call me to her dear old rocking-chair, where we would kneel and pray together."

Perhaps Fanny’s greatest legacy to the Body of Christ is that, despite her blindness, she wrote around 8,000 hymns.

Two of my favourites, still sung nearly a hundred years after her death are:

To God Be The Glory

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

*** Chorus ***
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

*** Chorus ***
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Saviour am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in His love.

One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you." She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?" "Why?" asked the surprised clergyman. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour!"

Praise the Lord for the life of Fanny Crosby, a life led with blessed assurance and to the glory of God.

Have a good week singing God’s praises,

Pastor Barry

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