Lessons from Fanny Crosby

One Minute with Marlin

Fanny Crosby was born in 1820 and died in 1915. In between, she wrote more than 9,000 hymns and many lines of poetry. She also memorized the Bible—an amazing amount of the Bible! She could quote the Pentateuch (Genesis all the way to Deuteronomy), the Gospels, Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many chapters and verses from Psalms.

She did all these things in the dark. She became ill at two months of age and, with the family doctor away, another man who pretended to be a doctor treated her eyes with a hot mustard concoction eyes. She eventually recovered, but her sight was gone. 

It is a wonderful joy to know, deep down, and to watch God use the happenings of our daily lives to mold us and accomplish things that can only be attributed to Him, to the Praise of His glory! 

Had Fanny not lost her ability to see, we may not have many classic hymns teaching us simple yet profound biblical truths. Among them are “Blessed Assurance,” “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” “To God Be the Glory,” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior,” “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” “Rescue the Perishing,” and “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross.”

In what way is He using things in your past to teach you? Are we even paying attention? 

I hope so, and I look forward to meeting her someday. Fanny continued to write her poetry up to her death, a month shy of her ninety-fifth birthday. “You will reach the river brink, some sweet day, bye and bye,” was her last stanza.

What a wonderful poem the Lord is writing with the lives of those who love him! 

As always, may you find joy in the simple things.


Marlin Miller is the publisher of Plain Values magazine