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It's truly wonderful what kind of impact familiar music and lyrics can have on the beloved elderly of the Sandwich Generation. It's especially exciting when it can reach the mind, even if just for a second, of one who has dementia symptoms. One such song that has that kind of potential has to be Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby.
I was thinking about that a few weeks ago, as I stood in church singing this song with the congregation. I looked around the room and saw so many faces – from very young to very old – singing away, many sharing the broad smile I had on my own face. I love the music, and even more, I love the wonderful words – especially the refrain:
Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O 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.
I already knew Fanny Crosby was a blind songwriter from the 1800s who loved God with all her heart. I was touched to read in Wikipedia that her father died when she was young and she was raised by her mother and grandmother – talk about a great example of the Sandwich Generation, long before the term was ever coined. I especially appreciated the quote I found there,
"It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.
Most of us don't have to struggle with blindness in our day to day lives, but we all have various trials and tribulations. This is especially true for those of us in the Sandwich Generation who may be dealing with our own health issues as well as those of senor parents, and sometimes even our grandkids. But without those trials in our lives, perhaps we might not have come to know God in the same way. I'm with her. Those are opportunities for us to submit ourselves totally to Him and watch Him work in and through us.
Submit, therefore, to God. James 4:7
Here is a wonderful YouTube version of this lovely hymn. It would be perfect for sharing with a special senior or two. Wouldn't that be a delightful Random Act of Kindness for them, that will bless you as well. And if you do, we'd love for you to share it with us too. 🙂
Have a blessed Sunday. And don't forget to sign up for the FREE SandwichINK email for more great praise and worship songs through the year to encourage Sandwich Generation senior home care givers and grandparents and their families. 🙂
Blessed Assurance: Lyrics With A Sandwich Generation Hymn History … http://bit.ly/ahyqUn
Kaye, what a beautiful, heart warming post. I also love this hymn. And from personal experience with an elderly lady friend who just passed away a few months ago, and who had Alzeheimer’s, I know it is truly a blessing to realize that singing some of these old, familiar hymns to them can calm them, and amazingly, they are sometimes even able to recall the words themselves in spite of their dementia. Thank you for this reminder, you are a blessing!
Hi Jacquelyn, Thank you so much! 🙂 Have a blessed week.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments on Fanny Crosby and her hymn. Today is the 171st anniversary of the birth of Phoebe Knapp, who wrote the tune for “Blessed Assurance.” To learn more about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily almanac on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.
Hi Robert, Thank you 🙂 What great info! I really enjoyed visiting your site and loved the idea of singing through hymns and praise and worship songs by the alphabet! 🙂
I am trying to find a quartet recording of my favorite old hymn:
“I will meet you in the morning by the bright riverside,
then we’ll sit down by the river and with rapture old acquaintance renew.
You’ll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear
when I meet you in the morning by the city that was built foursquare”
Words may not be perfectly accurate but they are close,
Hi Marilyn – I bet this is it – this version of I’ll Meet You in the Morning is sung by the Gaither Vocal Band – and you can click here to listen to it on YouTube or click here to go to Amazon and listen to a small snippet of it from the Gaithers Homecoming cd (also available via mp3 download). Let us know if I guessed right. 🙂 It’s definitely one of the lovely old Christian church hymns and songs that are so sweetly encouraging. 🙂