Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Draw Me Nearer"

I woke up with a hymn on my heart this morning. When that happens, I believe that the Father has placed it there, so even though I've already done a hymn by Fanny Crosby, I'm going to share this one too.

I found a lovely article by Bill Dagle on the origin of this hymn and will borrow a bit from him so that you can have a bit of background.
Although blind from birth, Fanny could see things in a way that those of us blessed with good vision cannot. She had a grandmother who spent countless hours teaching her and a Savior she loved deeply. Over the course of her lifetime she wrote over 8000 hymns.

One of Fanny's dear friends was William Doane, a factory president and active Baptist layman.
He shared Fanny's love for music and wrote the music to many of her hymns as well as over 2000 gospel songs of his own.

It was while Fanny was visiting the Doane home in Cincinnati that she was inspired to write the hymn "Draw Me Nearer." It was a late afternoon, and the family began describing to their blind friend the beauty of the sunset. They talked about the wonder of God's creation and the desire to live a life pleasing to Him.

Fanny asked Doane to write down the words to a poem that was forming in her mind and in just a short time the words to "Draw Me Nearer" were completed.

Mr.Dagle writes:

"Many will go through this life never seeing the things that blind Fanny did. In her blindness, she saw a loving Father and a caring Son who opened the door to heaven for those who would accept and believe. She also saw a day when, on the other side, all things would be made new, including her own eyes. Most of all, she saw a need for us today to draw nearer to the one who gave His all in all, and that one is Jesus Christ. Because of this, she would write:"

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.

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.

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.

It was this verse that Fanny had in mind when she wrote these words:
Hebrews 10:22
"let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."

This is a beautiful version with piano and violin.


  1. With so many uncertainties in our world now, I do long to rise in the arms of faith, and be drawn closer to God. Thank you for these wonderful words.

  2. The longer I live upon this earth the more
    I feel the desperate need to stay in His
    arms of love. Thank you for sharing this
    Linda. I enjoyed it.

  3. I couldn't quite get the tune of the main stanzas back from the recesses of my mind, so the youtube excerpt was very welcome. I sang along. :)
    In the chorus, the notes for bleeding are held at a high pitch and I remember that there was always one woman in every church of my dad's that would hit that note bulls-eye. I always sound like I've been stuck with a pin in the middle of singing that word and notes.:) But I know the Lord likes it anyway.

    Yesterday, I was floundering on verses. I've started the matching of the photos to Psalms series---well, actually God started it. When I sat down at the computer, I knew immediately to go to the stream pictures. I downloaded a bunch listening to my gut.
    Then I looked at them and thought, "What in the world am I to do with these?" It took awhile but He guided me and when I looked in two books for Psalm verses and opened both books to the same verse, I chuckled aloud. It was a "Okay, God, I hear you." moment. I even felt like I needed to write it down in my index card scripture file.
    What evolved was in essence a message to me and what I needed to remember and recite and BELIEVE.
    "Isn't God grand?!"

  4. Dear Linda,
    Fannie Crosby was such an amazing and talented lady...I do so love the hymns she wrote...and this is one of my favorites. Such a love for the Lord...such devotion...such an amazing witness.

    Have a blessed week,

  5. Oh, Linda. How absolutely wonderful. Just what I needed. Such memories of my childhood and younger days as we sang this often in our church. Wonderful words and the music is precious. Loved the piano and violin version so much.

  6. Over 8,000 hymns? I had no idea. Wow.

    Have you ever heard this quote from Fanny Crosby? "When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior."

    Can you imagine? The first face she EVER saw? EVER?