HE HIDETH MY SOUL
Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915
I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand. (Exodus 33:22)
The beloved blind American poet Fanny Jane Crosby did not begin writing gospel texts until her mid-forties. But from then on, inspiring words seemed to flow constantly from her heart, and she became “the happiest creature in all the land.” Friends stopped in frequently to see her with requests for new texts for special occasions.
One day Fanny was visited by William Kirkpatrick, a talented gospel musician who had just composed a new melody that he felt needed suitable words to become a singable hymn. As William sat at the piano and played the tune for Fanny, her face lit up. She knelt in prayer, as was always her custom, and soon the lines to this lovely hymn began to flow freely from her heart:
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful Savior to me; He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, where rivers of pleasure I see.
A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord—He taketh my burden away; He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved; He giveth me strength as my day.
With numberless blessings each moment He crowns, and, filled with His fullness divine, I sing in my rapture, “O Glory to God for such a Redeemer as mine!”
When clothed in His brightness transported I rise to meet Him in clouds of the sky; His perfect salvation, His wonderful love, I’ll shout with the millions on high.
Chorus: He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand, and covers me there with His hand.
The life of Fanny Crosby can be as uplifting to us as her wonderful hymns. When she wrote “rivers of pleasure I see,” “with numberless blessings each moment He crowns,” and “I sing in my rapture,” she revealed the triumph God gave her over a life of blindness. At least 8,000 gospel texts were written by this godly woman. She lived to be 95 years of age and traveled extensively in her later years as a speaker throughout the country. She said it was her continual prayer that God would allow her to lead to Christ every person she contacted. Only eternity will reveal the host of lives that have been directed to God through the life and hymns of Fanny Crosby.
For Today: Psalm 27:5; 49:15; Isaiah 51:16; 1 Corinthians 15:57
Do not look at your own strengths and faith but trust the One on whom your faith depends to keep you and make you useful in His service. Sing with confidence as you go—