Fanny Crosby was blinded soon after birth by a quack who treated her eyes and ended up becoming one of the greatest Christian song writers, penning songs like ‘Pass me not O gentle Savior’, ‘Blessed Assurance’, ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’, etc. She wrote more than 9,000 hymns, and for most people, the most remarkable thing about her was that she had done so in spite of her blindness. (1)
No one likes to suffer, no one invites pain, yet life is filled with pain and suffering. At every nook and corner we are greeted with adversity and getting through it is anything but easy. First, we need to understand that pain and suffering is a sequel of living in a fallen world. This world was created perfect, but when Adam sinned, perfection disappeared. The world would always be a bed of pain and toil.
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. (Genesis 3:17)
Yes, man would be able to live in this world, eat of it and enjoy its fruit, but at the cost of painful toil; sickness is part of that pain. And whereas death was not part of the original plan for Eden, ultimately despite man’s victories, healings and triumphs, sickness will engulf him and death becomes inevitable.
Next we see that suffering has a way of bringing us closer to God. David writes in Psalms 38; ‘My wounds fester because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.’ (v 5-7)
In this case, David is reminded of his sinful state and need for repentance as he goes through the pangs of suffering. His pride is brought low and his love for the worldly is decimated as he edges closer to God through suffering.
Finally when we look at Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, we see One who didn’t have it easy as well. He suffered in the worst possible way, dying on the cross for us. In Christ, we can identify with a God who came down to earth, suffered just like we do and now proclaims hope and salvation for us. Suffering teaches us to patiently await the hope of being with Jesus forever and entering one day into an existence where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
One day a well-meaning preacher remarked to Fanny “I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when he showered so many other gifts upon you,”.Fanny Crosby responded at once, as she had heard such comments before. “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind?” said the poet, who had been able to see only for her first six weeks of life. “Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.” (1)
- TURNING TO MYTHS
- HOPE, THE ANCHOR FOR THE SOUL