This hymn holds a tender place in my heart. We sang it with tears streaming down our faces at the funeral of a dear friend from Haiti. Rosie battled breast cancer and then a brain tumor before the Lord, in His Divine choosing, called her home on her 41st birthday. The path God called her to walk was not an easy one – physical suffering and pain along with the emotional struggle of watching her husband and young son prepare to lose the love of their lives.
But her spiritual journey was a brilliantly victorious one! Their little family of three (even the 6 year old!) prayed bold prayers daily at home and in the hospital, and they were always, ALWAYS faithful to bathe those prayers in praise! Their hearts rang out in song through the hospital hallways in stark contrast to the earthly reality they faced. Rosie had the biggest, brightest smile and even from her hospital bed with little strength to even lift her head, she would remind me, “God is a good God, so good. Don’t forget to praise Him NOW… for all He’s done, for all He’s going to do!” She confidently told me on more than one occasion, “either way, His plan for me will mean VICTORY!” Her well worn Bible was always right beside her in the bed, at her fingertips in every moment.
It was heartbreaking to lose her, in the earthly sense, but her funeral was one of the most joyous occasions I have ever attended. When we sang the words to “Blessed Assurance,” they took on new meaning for me. I could see so clearly where Rosie’s eyes had been all along. I imagined so easily that she never missed a beat, stepping from earth’s to heaven’s shores, continuously “praising her Savior all the day long.” She is now where her heart and soul have always resided, where she chose to be in any and every moment, in the presence of her Savior!
Rosie made sure that the focus of her funeral was not eulogizing her life, but pointing to the Lord Jesus. The bulk of the service was devoted to a very clear and powerful gospel message. Rosie and her family wanted to be sure that everyone who attended could look forward to the same kind of funeral – one of rejoicing because of a home-call to the very presence of the One who gave His life to redeem us and to secure for us eternal life with Him.
Despite our sorrow, we truly REJOICED with Rosie! Through the tears we all broke into the same big, bright smiles that she always inspired. We look forward to the day when we will join her in a beautiful, heavenly reunion! In the meantime, being able to picture her there with the Lord Jesus sheds new light on some of the other lyrics in this hymn: “o what a foretaste of glory divine… visions of rapture now burst on my sight… angels descending, bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.” I can no longer sing “Blessed Assurance” with dry eyes ~ it is just too precious!!!
BLESSED ASSURANCE by Fanny Crosby
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.