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This morning the old hymn, “Blessed Assurance” came springing forth out of my spirit.
I often wonder, with the hymns and writings of old, the ones where they express some of the greatest angsts of faith. What did those writers go through to receive such words to convey this powerful GOD they looked to for strength and hope?
Remembering years ago, in 2006, I was surrounded by such an earthquake kind of doubt as we no longer had health insurance. That card that I could use as often as I wanted to “ensure” my health, not having it sent me into a downward, tail spin of anxiety. Yet in moments there was a seeming missile called HOPE that collided with doubt and FAITH BURST FORTH. It was the moment that a friend’s legitimate concern, unintentionally stirred more worry, until moments later HEAVENLY WIT came pouring out my mouth as I was led to say, “I have Blessed Assurance as JESUS IS MINE, that right there is the best insurance out there.”
I couldn’t believe I was saying those words.
Today as I was reminded of those moments, thirteen Summers ago, that hymn came springing out of my spirit. As I looked up the lyrics, I came across the brief story behind them…OH MY…are you ready?
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
“Francis Jane Crosby was born into a family of strong Puritan ancestry in New York on March 24, 1820. As a baby, she had an eye infection which a quack doctor treated by placing hot poultices on her red and inflamed eyelids. The infection did clear up, but scars formed on the eyes, and the baby girl became blind for life. A few months later, Fanny’s dad became ill and died. Mercy Crosby, widowed at 21, hired herself out as a maid while Grandmother Eunice Crosby took care of little Fanny.
Grandmother took the education of her little granddaughter on herself and became the girl’s eyes, vividly describing the physical world. Grandmother’s careful teaching helped develop Fanny’s descriptive abilities. But Grandmother also nurtured Fanny’s spirit. She read and carefully explained the Bible to her, and she always emphasized the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn’t learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge.
In 1834 Fanny learned of the New York Institute for the Blind and knew this was the answer to her prayer for an education. She entered the school when she was twelve and went on to teach there for twenty-three years. She became somewhat of a celebrity at the school and was called upon to write poems for almost every conceivable occasion.
On March 5, 1858, Fanny married Alexander van Alstine, a former pupil at the Institute. He was a musician who was considered one of the finest organists in the New York area.
One evening, Fanny’s friend and composer Phoebe Palmer Knapp was visiting and played a tune on the piano, asking Fanny what it sounded like. Fanny responded “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!” Phoebe and Fanny then continued to sing the melody and write the lyrics together.”
REFLECTIONS OF THE WORD WITH HOLY SPIRIT:
Psalm 121; Philippians 4:19; Lamentations 3:23; I John 3:18-24
- Where in your life and heart can you trust GOD today knowing that HE Is your BLESSED ASSURANCE?