I woke up with a feeling of defeat that had been my companion before.
I woke up one morning feeling as though I wouldn’t have enough time to accomplish all of my duties and chores for the day. It was an overwhelming feeling, a feeling of defeat that has been my companion before. It has had the tendency to follow me through everything I do, making it a certainty that even the finished things still won’t feel like victories.
Then, I spent some time reading my morning devotion. It wasn’t even the Bible verses that changed my spirit, though they were still good. It was a song that was quoted as part of the story. “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy—His child, and forever I am.”
Redeemed, How I Love To Proclaim It was written by Fanny Crosby in 1882. When I dug a little deeper into the life of this well-known woman, I was reminded that she had written thousands of hymns and poems throughout her lifetime. And that wasn't all.
She had gone blind as a baby, yet still managed to receive a solid education at the New York Institution for the Blind. She learned piano and guitar while studying there, and eventually taught at the same school in the subjects of English grammar, rhetoric, and American History. She got married. She met presidents and other members of government. She spoke publically in the Senate Chamber, notably becoming the first woman to do so. Fanny Crosby loved her work and even credited her blindness for the good education she received, the good memory she developed, and the influence she was allowed to have on others.
Talk about redeemed!
She wrote a composition at eight years of age that became her life’s motto. “Oh what a happy soul I am! Although I cannot see, I am resolved that in this world contented I will be. . .”
Redeemed. Contented. Happy. It’s no wonder Fanny Crosby was able to make such good use of her 24-hour days. With words like those as part of her vocabulary, how could she not?
And are they part of mine?
Sometimes, it seems words like “dread” and “hurry” and “defeat” take center stage and stay for the whole production. They are definitely hard to work into an encouraging life motto.
So, what was Fanny’s secret? Maybe it had something to do with the verses that were also part of my Bible devotion. “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly” (Psalm 40:8-10).
How many times have I let the duties become a distraction from my heart’s desire--to do God’s will and to make His faithfulness known? And how many times have I neglected to start with myself, reminding myself of His faithfulness? How many times have I gone about my day with my eyes on the clock rather than on my Jesus?
My day, and the hours in it, will only be redeemed if I will allow the contentment my salvation brings to do so. I’ll have plenty of time for what I need to do, when what I need to do is to bring God the glory for my opportunities.
I have the opportunity to do laundry because I had something to wear. I have the opportunity to do my tax paperwork because I had folks who wanted to buy the books I have written last year. I have the opportunity to thank the good Lord as I move through the chores of my day because I am moving through the chores of my day.
I have the same twenty-four hours in my day that Fanny Crosby did, and I have the same twenty-four hours that that King David did when he wrote the verses that I read in my Bible devotion. So, today, I will take a lesson from both of them. I am redeemed. I am delighted. And I will go about my day with a song in my heart that says so.
How about another verse of Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It?
“I think of my blessed Redeemer, I think of Him all the day long; I sing, for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song.”
©2015 Wendi Miller
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