MY SAVIOR FIRST OF ALL
Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915
You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
The strong, triumphant spirit of American hymnwriter Fanny Crosby was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. Even though she was blind from six weeks of age because of improper medical treatment, she never revealed bitterness or depression. At one time a well-intentioned minister remarked to her:
“I think it is a great pity that the Master, when He showered so many gifts upon you, did not give you sight.”
“Do you know,” replied Fanny, “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?” asked the surprised clergyman.
“Because when I get to heaven, the first sight that shall ever gladden my eyes will be that of my Savior!”
For Fanny, the anticipation of heaven was the joy of seeing her Lord “face to face.” Although she wrote 8,000 or more gospel song texts on many different subjects, the themes of heaven and the Lord’s return seem to have been her favorites. In no other hymn does she picture more vividly her hope of seeing the beauty of Christ’s welcome, standing by His side, and witnessing firsthand His scars of redemption. What moving scenes Fanny Crosby has created for us to ponder in these vividly worded lines!
When my lifework is ended and I cross the swelling tide, when the bright and glorious morning I shall see, I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side, and His smile will be the first to welcome me.
O the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face and the luster of His kindly beaming eye; how my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace that prepare for me a mansion in the sky.
O the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come, and our parting at the river I recall; to the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home—but I long to meet my Savior first of all.
Thru the gates to the city, in a robe of spotless white, He will lead me where no tears will ever fall; in the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight—but I long to meet my Savior first of all.
Chorus: I shall know Him, I shall know Him, and redeemed by His side I shall stand; I shall know Him, I shall know Him by the print of the nails in His hand.
For Today: Philippians 3:20, 21; 2 Peter 1:4, 11; Revelation 21:10–21; 22:1–5
Contemplate once more some of the joys of Heaven promised in the Bible. Share your enthusiasm with a Christian who needs this encouragement.