|Title: To God Be the Glory
Theme: Glorifying God in every situation. (Fourth Sunday in Lent)
Object: A hymnal
Scripture: As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. John 9:1-3 (NIV)
Music has always been an important part of my life. I love all kinds of music, but the music I love the most is the music that we sing about Jesus. I have a hymnal this morning and I have marked a few of the hymns that are among my favorites.
Here is one of my favorites, “To God Be the Glory.” What a great hymn of praise to God. Here is another that has always been a favorite of mine, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” It tells about how Jesus leads us through the difficult times in our life. Oh! This is one song that is definitely on my list of all-time favorites, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine.” Did you know that all of these favorites that I have named this morning have something in common? They were all written by the same person. In fact, there are many hymns in our hymnal written by that person. Her name was Fanny Crosby.
When Fanny was six weeks old, she had an eye infection. Her regular doctor was out of town, and a man posing as a doctor gave her the wrong treatment. Within a few days, she was blind. If that happened to me, I am afraid I would be very bitter and I would probably spend a lifetime feeling sorry for myself. Fanny was never bitter and she never felt sorry for herself. When she was only eight years old, she wrote this poem:
Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I can not 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!
Instead of being bitter and feeling sorry for herself, Fanny used the gifts that God had given her to write over 8,000 hymns and poems to praise and glorify God.
One day Jesus was walking with his disciples when they passed by a blind man. When they saw him, the disciples asked Jesus who was to blame for the man’s blindness. Was it because of his sin or was it because of his parent’s sins? Jesus answered them and told them that no one was to blame, he was blind so that God’s works could be shown in him. Then Jesus healed the man and the people praised and glorified God for his goodness.
What about Fanny Crosby? God didn’t heal her blindness. Perhaps if God had healed her, she might never have written all of those beautiful hymns — and the world would never have heard of Fanny Crosby. She used the tragedy of her blindness to glorify God. I pray that tragedy will never come into your life, but if it does, remember that everything that happens can be used to praise and glorify God!
Dear Lord, the difficulties in our life seem small when compared to what others may be facing. Help us not to grumble and complain, but to praise and glorify you in every situation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.