Could it be that after singing a song all your life, that one day you hear it for the first time? Such is the case for me and the song, “I Am Thine, O Lord.” As I, with intentionality, gave my spiritual attention to abiding daily, even moment by moment, in Christ, I came across a portion of this song in my reading. Having sung this traditional hymn throughout my years in church, I was very familiar with it. I had no trouble at all matching the melody to the short phrase that I read, “I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me.” Yet, suddenly and powerfully, the beginning of the song resonated with me. I belong to You, Jesus. You have called MY name, and I have heard the sweetness of your voice! You have made your love to me real!
I had to pull out my hymnal and read the song in its entirety. When I did, Fanny Crosby’s one hundred-year-old words flowed from the tattered hymnal pages directly into my heart and then out again via my lips as I lifted my voice in testimony and prayer to an audience of One. The richness of a personal relationship with Christ is so captured in these words! Oh, the depths to be plumbed! Could ever a song be written again that, with theological correctness, paints so well the joyful elation of giving ourselves completely to Christ; to being pulled as by a gravitational force into the depths of His love and grace? A song that demonstrates so well the longing, pleading desire of a heart enamored with Christ to be fully devoted to Him until our will becomes His own? A song that understands the delight of kneeling in reverence before Him while yet speaking to Him as a lifelong friend? And then, casting the vision before us of a day when the love and joy that has so delighted us here will pale in comparison when the veil of flesh is ripped away, and we are able to know as we are known!
Will you listen again with me, for the first time? Will you read with a pleading heart, a confessing heart, a prayerful heart to be drawn nearer, nearer, nearer to the heart of Jesus? Take your time. Let every phrase sink deep into your spirit. There are no wasted words here; Fanny made every single one count.
Read and be blessed:
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith,
And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord
To the cross where Thou has died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious bleeding side.
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend;
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend.
There are depths of love that I cannot know,
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach ,
Till I rest in peace with Thee.
Words by Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915)
For more details on the life of Fanny Crosby and the story behind this song, visit https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-i-am-thine-o-lord