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Transforming lives Through Jesus With Disabled People
Through the Roof 2017 > Blogs > All the Way My Saviour Leads Me (Ros’ Blog)

All the Way My Saviour Leads Me (Ros' Blog)

All the Way My Saviour Leads Me (Ros' Blog)

Those of you who receive Through the Roof’s weekly prayer email will be aware that my mother was recently called home to Heaven at the ripe old age of 87. As we met to plan her funeral, my brothers and I naturally had many things about which to reminisce from childhood upwards.

My mother’s physical health was devastated by rheumatoid arthritis from the age of 33. Despite this, she would have been astonished if anyone had applied the label 'disabled' to her, even on the many days when we watched her crawl backwards down the stairs on her elbows and knees because her legs were too unsteady to walk down.

My father was away a great deal with his job, sometimes for weeks on end, and my mother carried on caring for three small children on her own with no outside help at all. Over the years she won two cancer battles and had knees and a hip replaced. Nothing ever defeated her indomitable spirit or her close relationship with and deep faith in the Lord Jesus. In her later years I often stayed with her and her sister to take care of them (by then they were both widowed and living together) and the amount of time they spent in Bible study and prayer together – at least an hour every day – has left a lasting impression on me. If they promised to pray for you, you could be sure that they did, regularly and faithfully.

For her funeral one of my brothers chose the old hymn All the Way My Saviour Leads Me, which we had also sung at my grandmother’s funeral 44 years previously. I have been reflecting on the words of this hymn, and how fitting it is as an encouragement to people living with disabilities and impairments of any kind.
For my mother, the final verse has now been realised:

When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way!

But for those of us who still have more of our earthly pilgrimage stretching before us, the second verse is full of heartening encouragement:

All the way my Saviour leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

I am convinced that the secret to a joy-filled Christian life is contained in John 4. The Samaritan woman – empty, disillusioned and loveless – came to the well expecting nothing more than to satisfy her physical need for water. She expected to lower her water jar, fill it, draw it up again and slink away unnoticed before the village women began to gather. But when she encountered an unexpected stranger and got into conversation with Him, she lingered by the well and by the time she left, she knew that she had encountered the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, and had a new, perpetual source of living water within her as a result of the encounter with Him.

Somehow I doubt whether her life became much easier after that. It’s true she was no longer despised by the villagers to the same extent. But she was still a woman with no means of support, deserted by five husbands and not knowing where her next meal would come from. There is a Church tradition that she was imprisoned and eventually executed during the persecution under the Roman Emperor Nero. And yet her life had a whole new dimension, a perpetual source of strength and joy, so that her spiritual thirst was permanently quenched.
I am convinced that this is the secret for us as Christians, especially those who go through life with the additional difficulties and challenges of disability. If we can but find our 'well', the place where we can encounter Jesus and linger in His presence, receiving fresh supplies of living water, then, as the hymn says,

Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.