Face To Face

  The hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, gave us more than 8 thousand gospel songs.  Although at age 6 weeks old, she was blinded by a doctor’s faulty medical advice, she never became bitter.  At age 65, she entered N.Y Institute for the blind and remained there as an instructor of English and history from 1847 – 1858.  In March of 1858, she married Alexander VanAlstyne, a blind musician, who had been one of her pupils. They made their home in Brooklyn, N.Y.
One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, “I think it is great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so may other gifts upon you. ”  She replied quickly, “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be blind?”  “Why?” asked the surprised clergyman.  “Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.”   

  One of Fanny Crosby’s hymns was so personal that for years she kept it in herself.  Kenneth Osbeck, author of several books on hymnology, says its revelation to the public came about this way:  “One day at a Bible conference in Northfield, Massachusetts, Fanny Crosby was asked by D. L. Moody to give a personal testimony.  At first, she hesitated, then quietly rose and said, “There is one hymn I have written which has never been published, I call it my soul’s poem.  Sometimes when I am troubled, I repeat it to myself, for it brings comfort to my heart.”  She then recited, while many wept, “Someday the silver cord will break and I no more as now shall sing; but oh, the joy when I shall wake within the palace of the King.  And I shall see Him face to face and tell the story – saved by grace.”  

  At the age of 95, Fanny Crosby passed into glory and saw the face of Jesus.

  It seems to me that blindness would be a terrible handicap. Just think of all the things that a blind person misses. No sunrise or sunset, no beautiful sky,  no lovely faces of loved ones and friends and on and on of what is not seen. And, we take it so much for granted.

  Such was the case of a blind man whom Jesus met. He had come out of the darkness of his mother’s womb into the darkness of this world.  We call him, Bartimaeus which means, “Son of Timaeus”.  He has no name.  He is just a beggar.  He heard the excitement of the crowd and asked, “what was happening?”  He was told, “Jesus, Son of Nazareth is passing by.”  He immediately cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”  The crowd told him to be quiet but he cried out louder for help.  Jesus heard, stopped, and ordered the beggar to be brought to Him.  Jesus asked the beggar, “What do you want me to do for you?”   He replied, “Lord, I want to see.”   Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight, your faith has healed you.”     What a wonder, the blind man opened his eyes and saw the face of Jesus. He followed Jesus praising God.  All the people seeing this, praised God too.       Luke 18:35-43    

  I think of Aunt Maggie, a blind, black lady, living alone in a cabin up in the hills, about five miles from Johnson Bible College.  We loved her and visited her often. She died and was buried in unmarked grave. The college students and others, who knew her, would not have it that way. They took up a collection and bought a marker for that grave. It read:  “Aunt Maggie Widener 1870-1951.  Inscribed at the bottom were the words: “I was blind but now I see.” 

  Will you be able to say, “Face to face I shall behold Him… and tell the story, saved by grace?”

5 Responses to “Face To Face”

  1. Enjoy your devotional every week, but this one is exceptionally good. We are being reminded that we all have an appointment with God someday! What a day of rejoicing that will be when we see Jesus face to face.
    Best wishes to you and your new bride. May you have great life together serving the Lord. Eyes to thes skies! Lord bless and sustain you and yours today in every way and all the way, Norman

  2. I would like to add a quote from the book “Third Watch” by Bodie and Brock Thoene:

    “Giving sight to one born blind is easier for God to accomplish than convincing a man with two good eyes that he’s blind.The first blindness is obvious.” page 200

    This follows: “Nothing is too hard for God . . . except man’s will. Man’s desire to choose a lie over the truth.” page 200.

  3. Max out of the ones I have read I really enjoyed this
    one.Site is one of our most valued thing of life,I know as I get older my glasses get stronger and I miss
    seeing something very clear but I know when I see
    my maker I want need glasses.
    God Bless you and Joan hope you have a great trip.
    Kenny “B”

  4. What a beautiful message. My great-aunt, Jeanette, went blind from Glaucoma. And I remember her saying, “you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose
    it”.

    You and Joann have a wonderful trip!

    Peace & Joy to you both.

    Peggy & Dean

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