In this praise Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) shared her own personal testimony of God’s guidance as she experienced it. It is a bold statement and a massive encouragement to any of us! Maybe you don’t know, but Fanny Crosby was blind, still she understood her own blindness was part of God’s plan, strange that might sound to us!
When Fanny was about six weeks old, her parents noticed there was something wrongt with her eyes. The local doctor was away, but they found someone else – strangely nobody was able to remember his name later – who claimed to be a physician. He applied hot poultice on the baby’s inflamed eyes. The infection cleared up alright, but white scars remained after it, and the family noticed in the coming months that the baby was not responding to visual signals or objects held in front of her eyes. Fanny’s vision was very badly damaged, but she was not totally blind. She could discern day from night even in her old age, but that was it, her vision was gone!
However, this tragedy stimulated other gifts, like her amazing memory. In her childhood she memorised whole sections of the Bible, most of the Pentateuch, the four Gospels, all the Proverbs, and vast portions of other books! I wonder how much of the Bible could we recite?! Whenever she wanted to “read” the Bible she just “turned” the pages in her head! “This Holy Book,” she said at eighty-five, “has nurtured my entire life.”
In her older age she regarded her blindness as a special gift from God, believing He had given her a particular “soul-vision” which equipped her for a special work. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me,” she declared. “How in the world could I have lived such a helpful life had I not been blind?”
“Don’t blame the doctor,” Fanny said on another occasion. “He is probably dead by this time. But if I could meet him, I would tell him that he unwittingly did me the greatest favour in the world.”
The praise expresses Fanny Crosby’s lifelong testimony, yet it was prompted by a specific incident in 1874. One day she didn’t have enough money for her rent. As she committed the matter to God in prayer, a stranger appeared at her door and pressed a ten-dollar bill in her hand and as suddenly as he appeared he disappeared again. It was the exact amount she needed! In response as thanksgiving and praise she wrote that night the praise: “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me.”