"...Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
Hebrews 10:22 NIV
As soon as I could mimic the words and find the pages in the hymnals, this one became one of my very favorite hymns. I may have only been 5 or 6 years old but some songs just captured my heart even though I didn't really know why. I remember those Sunday night sings so well. I would sing those words with all my little girl might, "This is my story! this is my song! Praising my Savior all the day long!..." I must have been quite a sight. This skinny little freckle-faced girl...
I could pick a thousand songs that mean a lot to me, but if I had to pick one that has endured through my whole life, it would be this one. Just as Fanny Crosby rose above her blindness to grasp the assurance of her unfailing faith, I grasped the heart of those words in the darkest or saddest moments of my own life. When I was down and out as a little girl, I didn't choose from the sounds of the Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline vinyl records that my dad played so often. I chose those songs I loved best on Sunday mornings and especially Sunday evenings when the congregation--even little girls--could choose the hymns.
I look now at the words of "Blessed Assurance" and realize why they have held my heart captive my whole life. "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine..." No matter what was taken from me--as a little girl, a confused teenager, an overwhelmed mom, or totally lost grown woman on my own at forty--no one, and I mean NO ONE, could take Jesus away from me. Even when I myself tried to push Him away or run from Him, He took me in His arms and reminded, "You are Mine, and I am Yours." And oh! When I held on to His words, my tears and troubles just evaporated away
"Perfect submission, perfect delight...Angels descending, bring from above, echoes of mercy and whispers of love." When I couldn't see right and wrong or understand what was happening, I found hope in crawling in Jesus' lap and giving Him my heart...and my hurt. As a little girl, I would crawl into the dark mustly laundry hamper (I was a strange little kids sometimes!) and Jesus would meet me there and just hold me tight. I didn't understand what "submission" was back then, but I knew it MUST this way of letting Jesus hold me while He made the world go away for awhile. And when I was in that laundry hamper, I did just that. I submitted... Without trying to prove anything to anyone, I surrendered to Him with a sincere heart... Well today, I don't fit in the laundry hamper anymore (obviously), but there are still times He draws me close and holds me, echoing mercy and whispering love to my soul.
"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." It's hard to think why I would even want to hide in a hamper full of dirty old clothes but when Jesus took hold of my heart in there, He washed my "inside" dirty laundry clean. Nothing else mattered, and I really was happy and blessed. I would even fall asleep amid that pile of dirty clothes completely at peace and at rest. Even today, in surrendering my very worst to Him, I find myself in Him and He in me. I remain happy and blessed--whether my tough circumstances change or remain the same.
"This is my story, This is my song! Praising my Savior all the day long..." When I was so little, I remember belting those words out as loud and as strong as I could in that church pew. My heart would pound with love for my Jesus, the friend of children. I don't think anyone could have shut me up if they tried. It's ironic how Jesus always said we should come as little children to Him. In human reason, it just doesn't make sense. As children, there's so much we don't understand, even more we just can't put into words, and so very little we can do. But when Jesus comes down and speaks to a little child's heart, she doesn't question--she just knows and responds without abandon, "Jesus is mine and I am His."
No matter what I had done or what I had been through, Jesus was ALWAYS my blessed assurance. I didn't understand a lot in those days, but I understood that one truth. Today in my church, we don't sing the song nearly as much as I would like but when I hear it, those words still fill my heart to overflowing. No matter what I've done or what I've been through, He reminds me that He is still my blessed assurance. Because He has held me so close throughout the years, His blessed assurance truly IS my story and my song. He's held me through all the darkest moments. When I couldn't see, He made a way for me. "This is MY story, this is MY song..." so yes, for all He is and all He has done, I will praise Him all my life long.