From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
For most of her 95 years on earth, Fanny Crosby was blind. Yet she had the deep spiritual perception to write hundreds of hymns and gospel songs that have inspired and comforted Christians for a hundred years.
Ken Medema, a blind singer and songwriter whose whimsical tunes and happy lyrics made him beloved across America, turned his handicap into a joyous celebration of the goodness of God. John Milton wrote the immortal Paradise Lost as a result of the shattering experience of blindness. This classic glorifies and extols the greatness of God.
The renowned missionary to the American Indians, David Brainerd, and the famous Scottish clergyman, Robert Murray McCheyne, were both afflicted with lung diseases, and yet they both established themselves in the forefront of Christian service.
Louis Pasteur, the French chemist who discovered the germ-killing process which has been called “pasteurizing,” was semi-paralyzed and had epileptic seizures. He never gave up on his search for solutions to the diseases so rampant in his lifetime. It is possible that if he had known good health, he might have forsaken his research for more lucrative work.
Beethoven was compelled by increasing deafness to abandon his intended career as a pianist and to concentrate on the writing of music and he became one of the greatest composers of all time.
It isn’t always possible to see the blessing in the particular problem we face, but suffering can, and does, serve a positive purpose. With God’s help, He will give us purpose in life.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)