Posted by: rcottrill | January 4, 2012

All the Way My Saviour Leads Me

Words: Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby (b. Mar. 24, 1820; d. Feb. 12, 1915)
Music: Robert Lowry (b. Mar. 12, 1826; d. Nov. 25, 1899)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

The personal incident in Fanny’s life that led to the writing of this fine song is described in the Wordwise Hymns link. But there was a biblical inspiration, as well. When the hymn was first published in 1875, it was captioned with the text, “The LORD alone did lead him” (Deut. 32:12, KJV). The “him” referred to is the nation of Israel, called “Jacob” in the context (vs. 9).

Especially in the second stanza, it’s clear that Fanny has in mind the forty years the nation of Israel spent in the wilderness. There, the Lord guided them with a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Exod. 40:38). He fed them with bread from heaven that they called manna (Exod. 16:14-15), and when they were thirsty God twice gave them water from a rock (Exod. 17:5-6; Num. 20:9-11). All of this provides examples and illustrations of how the Lord leads and provides for our needs as Christians (Rom. 15:4; I Cor. 10:11).

CH-2) All the way my Saviour leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

When she wrote these words, Fanny Crosby had no way of knowing that another productive forty years lay ahead of her! All through, she continued to write hymns, and was also in demand as a devotional speaker. For a watch-night service in 1905, she wrote a poem personifying the passing year. It shows the consistency of her Christian walk. The poem says, in part:

List to the clanging bells of time.
Tolling, tolling a low, sad chime,
A requiem chant o’er the grand Old Year,
Hark! He is speaking, and bids us hear:

“Friends, I am dying, my hours are few,
This is the message I leave for you,
‘Bought with a price, ye are not your own,
Live for the Master and Him alone.

“Gather the sheep from the mountains cold,
Gather them into the Shepherd’s fold,
Work for His cause till your work is done,
Stand by the cross till your crown is won.”

And the author did just that, looking forward, as the years crept on, to the time when she entered “perfect rest…in my Father’s house above (CH-3 of our hymn). Fanny Crosby was fifty-five years old when she wrote the present hymn, testifying of the One “who through life has been my guide” (CH-1). She was confident in the truth of Romans 8:28, that God works in all things for our good. As she says in her hymn,  “I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.”

CH-3) All the way my Saviour leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.

1) What example comes to mind of the way the Lord has led you during the days of this past week?

2) Not everything was pleasant and comfortable in the wanderings of the Israelites–nor is it in our Christian lives. What are some of the ways God uses the challenges and obstacles we face for our good and blessing?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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