By Fanny J Crosby
(1) When my life work is ended, and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him
And redeemed by His side, I shall stand.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.
(2) Oh, the soul thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love, and grace
That prepared for me a mansion in the sky.
(3) Oh, the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come,
And our parting at the river I recall;
To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home,
But I long to meet my Saviour first of all.
(4) Thro’ the gates of the city in a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears will ever fall;
In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight,
But I long to meet my Saviour first of all.
The great Christian hymnwriter, Fanny Crosby, was permanently blinded as an infant. Though she could not see with her physical eyes, the Spirit of God gave her a unique insight into spiritual truths. Near the end of the nineteenth century, Fanny was visiting the Lake Chautauqua Institute, in Western New York State. In those days this was a place for Christian fellowship, great preaching, and singing of wonderful hymns. It was here that she met John R. Sweney. After a busy day at the camp meeting, both were taking a rest on the front porch of the grand hotel when John asked an interesting question of Fanny. “Fanny,” he asked, “do you think we’ll recognize our friends in heaven?” Initially her response was positive. She then added, “John, that’s not what you really want to know. You wonder how an old lady who has been blind all her life could even recognize one person, let alone her Lord and Savior. Well I’ve given it a lot of thought and I don’t think I’ll have a problem. But if I do, when I get to heaven, I’m going to look around and when I see the one who I think is my Savior, I’m going to walk up to Him and say, ‘May I see your hands?’ When I see the nail prints in the hands of my Savior, then I’ll know I’ve found my Jesus.” “Oh Fanny,” John said, “that would make a great song.” “No thank you,” she replied. “I’m tired, I’m going to bed”. Well the next morning, bright and early, Fanny met John for breakfast and before they went their separate ways, she dictated the words of this great hymn.
So it was based on that conversation, that Crosby wrote the hymn “I Shall Know Him”. So descriptive were the words chosen for this hymn by Funny. When my life’s work is ended and I cross the swelling tide,When the bright and glorious morning I shall see,I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,And His smile will be the first to welcome me,I shall know Him, I shall know Him,When redeemed by His side I shall stand, I shall know Him, I shall know Him,By the print of the nails in His hand
One day, those who have repented and come to Christ will see Him face to face. When we do, we too will have the privilege of seeing those wounds. At that moment, they will speak to us again, even as they do today.
It has always been one of my favorite hymns because it is about heaven and the hope of each Christian should be to see our Lord, face to face. What a wonderful day that will be!
I heard of this story about a young man and I think it befits this hymn story. It is said that a little boy was on a train running the long trip between to cities. It was a hot, dusty day, very uncomfortable for traveling, and that particular ride was perhaps the most uninteresting day’s journey in the whole land. People were complaining all around, but the little fellow sat patiently watching the fields and the fences hurrying by, until a motherly old lady, leaned forward to ask with some sympathy in her voice, “Aren’t you tired of the long ride, dear? Aren’t you getting uncomfortable and bored?” The little boy looked up brightly, and smiled, “Yes, ma’am, a little. But I don’t mind it much, because my father is going to meet me when I get to the end of it! The boy did not mind the boring journey because he was looking forward to meeting his dad. Are you looking forward to meeting your God?
Christ is One of a kind – Nobody is like my Jesus – I shall know him. Yes, I shall know him. Eternity is Real and my heavenly visa is secured – I know I am saved. My name is inscribed in the palm of his hands and nothing and no one can pluck me out of his hands. I hope I have Possessions to cast at the feet of the Savior when I see the one who paid it all for me.
Do you have your visa? Do you have anything to declare? Are you ready to face the Lord?
Zechariah prophesied – Zech 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. It has been proven before – John 20:20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. It is Preserved! He has kept the scars as an eternal reminder to us!
Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, I will know Him, and with Job I can say:
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Yes I shall know him and his smile will be the first to welcome me.