Fanny Crosby was born in New York in 1806. She was blinded at 6 weeks because a quack doctor gave her the wrong medication for an eye condition. At the age of 15 she enrolled in the New York City School for the blind, and would later stay on as an English teacher. She would would marry a blind musician at 35 and would write her very first hymn at the late age of 41. Before writing a hymn she would always start out by bowing her knee in prayer. About her blindness and the accident the caused it she wrote, “Oh, what a happy soul I am, though I cannot see! I am resolved that in this world contented I will be.” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/poets/crosby.html)
She would go on to write 8,000 hymns. She was a committed and active member of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church. There was a season in her life when she was under contract to write 3 hymns a week. She would live a very full and rewarding life until her death at the age of 95. When asked about her disability she once said, “When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/poets/crosby.html)
How could Fanny Crosby make it through life blind while keeping herself filled with joy, contentment, free from bitterness? How could she give up a victim mentality, and become a giver, to the point of penning 8,000 hymns that have encouraged so many people through the years? I believe it was her heart of worship, her commitment to be thankful, and to express praise even in the middle of hardship.
We find this strong resolve in these words she penned, “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. 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!”
Are you feeling down this Christmas? Why not stop and reflect on all that God has done for you this year? Begin to verbally thank him for each blessing. Don’t wait until you feel like it. Take one of the worship choruses that you love, or a hymn that speaks to you, and sing that song in your heart to God. Say something like, “Lord, I adore you. I magnify you. I exalt and honor you.” Why not express your worship by lifting your hands, or bowing your knees to him. That time will bring heaven to your heart and strength to you soul.
Ps 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”