Sunday, April 10, 2016

Jesus Led Me All the Way

During this morning's church service, our song leader announced "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" for congregational worship, and I got a little teary. It happens to be the hymn I sang to myself repeatedly in the weeks leading up to my move east, on the heart-wrenching day I packed up and drove away, and through the months of trying to figure out a new place and ministry.
For I know whate'er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
This week marked one year since my arriving in West Virginia.  It was kind of the Lord to tenderly remind me of his presence and blessing on this anniversary week. O the fullness of his love.

Fanny Crosby, the lyricist, was an inspiring woman.  Permanently blinded due to a doctor's mistake when she was just an infant, she nevertheless lived out a sure trust in a God both sovereign and good.  Hers was a faith so real that it had to be expressed profusely.  And so she penned lyrics for 8,000 sacred songs and became the most prolific hymnist in history.

Every time I hear a Fanny Crosby song I note her references to sight.  Words like "see" and "look" pop up often.  (She wrote a lot about heaven, where she would be able to gaze with perfect eyes upon the Lord Jesus.)  "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" follows the pattern: Lo! A spring of joy I see.  Fanny Crosby saw with the eyes of faith.

Although I enjoy the Robert Lowry melody traditionally matched with Fanny Crosby's hymn, I think the simple, heartfelt lyrics lend themselves better to a more contemplative setting.  I love Chris Tomlin's version, but my favorite is Rich Mullins's.  That earnest, raw voice accompanied by Beaker's soft guitar harmonics:
All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?

I watched this video so many times in the last 15 months, often late at night when the doubts and grief seemed almost palpable.
Can I doubt His tender [faithful] mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
No, I cannot doubt my Guide—not for long.  The grief, too, is soothed by a growing contentment and gratitude that the Lord is mercifully cultivating in my heart:
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell...
Fanny Crosby died in 1915, Rich in 1997.  Their faith is now sight.  Someday I will join them:
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.