In our prayers, we commonly plead with God for strength of body and good health. We come often in times of trouble. What is much less common are prayers offered in gratitude for the fact that we, and our loved ones are, in fact, strong and well. For most of us, it is almost unbelievable that anyone should give thanks to the Lord for illness or handicaps. Yet there are many instances of individuals who have done just that. Men and women who feel that their special gift may well have depended upon the apparent disability they possess. The best most can hope for is to learn to accept and find peace with a handicap, but some, seeing a greater scope of God's grace, actually rejoice in the doors opened by the shift of emphasis.

Fanny J. Crosby was certainly one of these. At the age of six months, Fanny was blinded by a poultice placed on her eyes. Rather than developing with a nature of gloom and anger she showed her bright and tender spirit early in her life. When she was only eight years old she wrote:

O what a happy soul am I!
      Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
      Contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy,
      That other people don't;
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
      I cannot and I won't!

While she may not be remembered as one of America's greatest poets, she certainly is remembered as one of the truly special writers of Christian songs. Just to mention a few of the more than 8,000:

  • "Safe In The Arms Of Jesus"
  • "All The Way My Savior Leads Me"
  • "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling Thee Home"
  • "I Am Thine, O Lord"
  • "Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross"

The spirit for finding the good in what others saw as a handicap was seen clearly as she spoke with a Scottish minister who had remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master, when He showered you with so many gifts, did not give you sight."

She was blessed with more acute vision.
She answered, "Do you not know that, if at birth I had been able to make one petition to my Creator, it would have been that I should be born blind."

"Why?" ask the surprised minister.

"Because, when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior," was the unexpected reply.

Fanny J. Crosby was not blind! She was blessed with more acute vision than most of us will ever possess.

[The LORD says] "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16 NKJV).