How’re you inspired to act while or after listening to the hymn? Have you ever wondered at the story behind the hymn, I am thine o Lord?
The late Baptist hymnologist William J. Reynolds provides the context for the composition of the hymn in 1874 during a visit by Fanny Crosby to Doane’s home in Cincinnati:
“One evening she and Doane talked at length about the nearness of God in their lives. When Fanny went to her room, her mind and heart were flooded with ideas from their conversation. Before she went to sleep, the lines of “I am thine, O Lord” were in her mind. . . . The next morning she recited the words to Doane, who wrote down the stanzas and composed the tune.”
The text appeared with the following inscription from Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (KJV)
Carlton Young points out that Crosby seems to mix her cleansing metaphors intentionally—“pure water” and “bleeding side.” The connection becomes clearer when one reads the previous verses in Hebrews 10:
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God. . . .”
Like so many of Crosby’s hymns, “I am thine, O Lord” is written in the first person—a personal testimony of her relationship with Christ. Stanza one begins with a total surrender to Christ, “I am thine, O Lord,” and the desire to “be closer drawn to thee.” The second stanza appropriately draws upon the closeness of this relationship as an impetus of service: “Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord, by the power of grace divine.”
Stanza three defines the relationship further as one forged in prayer: “When I kneel in prayer, and with thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend!” In the final stanza, Crosby acknowledges that her relationship will not be complete until she reaches heaven (“cross the narrow sea”) and then she will find “rest in peace with thee.”
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 hast 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 yet may know
Ere Thee face to face I see;
There are heights of joy that I yet may reach
Ere I rest in peace with Thee.
Culled from discipleship ministries