Fanny Crosby was probably the most prolific hymnist in history. Though blinded by an incompetent doctor at six weeks of age, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blindness, she 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.
In her lifetime, Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States. To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work.
When Fanny died, her tombstone carried the words, “Aunt Fanny” and “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.”
One of those hymns written in circa 1885; Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart every word. Who is Jesus? … I read somewhere that He is the Star of astronomy. He is the rock of Geology. He is the Lion and the Lamb of Zoology. He's the Harmonizer of all discords and the Healer of all diseases. Great men have come and gone, but He lives on. Herod and Pilate could not kill Him. Satan could not seduce Him. Death could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him. He was human and divine. He was God and He was man. He was just as much God as though never man and just as much man as though never God. He was so human that he got lonely and longed for human companionship, but He was so divine that He said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." He was so human that He prayed, but was so divine that in all of His prayers He never had to make one confession of sin. He was so human that He became thirsty, but He was so divine that He could say, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." He was so human that He became hungry, but He was so divine that He took a lad's lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fishes and fed a multitude. He was so human that a ship carried Him, but He was so divine that He walked on the waves. He was so human that He fell asleep on board ship during a storm, but He was so divine that He awoke and rebuked the wind and the waves as calm as a babe asleep on her mother's bosom. He was so human that His enemies threw slurs at Him insinuating that He was the son of illegitimate birth, but He was so divine that He could look His tormentors in the eyes and say, "Before Abraham was I AM! He was so human that He wept at a graveside, but He was so divine that with the voice of authority He cried, "Lazarus, come forth." His purpose was stupendous and was purposed in the mind of God before the foundations of the world and before the mudsills of the earth were laid. Before He had stretched out the heavens like a scroll, or scooped out the valleys, or piled up the mountains or carpeted the earth with verdant green, or laced it with running brooks and flowing rivers. Before He had set the furnace of the sun on fire or called the queen of the night into her orbit, or set the stars to dancing in the heavens, or the sons of God to shouting for joy, Redemption was accomplished. OH, WHAT A SAVIOR!
Writhing in anguish and pain.
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see.
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
Love paid the ransom for me.
This morning I want to tell you a story ... about a Savior perfect in every way, Jesus what a wonderful Name … what a wonderful Savior. Who is Jesus … well perhaps many of us already know this Jesus; this Man that has been The Difference in our lives. We know Him as Savior, Friend, Deliverer, King, Lord; But for those of you who don’t or maybe we just need to be reminded who Jesus is or maybe you just aren’t sure … don’t worry because the ones who walked with Him nearly every day of their lives after meeting Him didn’t quite know Him as well as perhaps they should have …
Lots of us, though, carry scars from different injuries. Scars not from a physical accident, but from pain of a different kind. Pain from broken relationships, broken dreams, unrealized potentials. Some have been the product of our own bad choices. Others have been forced on us without our consent. Our scars remind us constantly that we have been injured, marked, and forever changed. Behind the scars lie the most horrific events in our lives. The scar is the outward-facing result of pain we wish had never happened. We try to hide those scars, but a pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt won’t do the trick. So we decide that we’ll never be hurt again and we put on a mask to hide the scar, thinking nobody will notice. But they don’t go away, do they? We begin to look at the scars not as battle wounds we can be proud of, but as a mark of disgrace that goes deeper than anyone can ever touch and are a reflection of the story God has thrust upon us. A constant reminder that life’s not fair, not easy, and that even our own stories are broken.