Fanny Crosby, born in 1820, was only two months old when she contracted an eye infection which led to blindness when she was treated by an inexperienced doctor. Fanny never blamed the doctor for her blindness. Instead, she chose to look at it as a blessing, removing the distractions of sightedness and keeping her focused on her writing. Fanny, despite losing her father before her first birthday, was a naturally happy and curious child who was raised by her mother and grandmother. It was Fanny’s grandmother who taught her to memorize the word of God. Never being limited by her lack of sight, by age 15, she had memorized the four gospels, the Pentateuch, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms. (There’s a challenge for us Bible Bingers!)
Even though she spent her early life memorizing scripture, it wasn’t until she was 30 that Fanny made God the Lord of her life. She moved from writing secular poems (over 1,000 published) to writing hymns. Of the 9,000+ hymns she wrote, “Blessed Assurance” is one of the few with a recorded backstory. In 1873, while visiting the home of her musician friend Phoebe Knapp, Fanny listened to Phoebe’s latest musical composition. When asked what the tune was saying to her, Fanny responded, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” Thus, one of the most beloved hymns of all time was born.
During this season of celebrating Christ’s birth, we have the same assurance that Fanny expressed in song 160 years ago. When we accept Jesus as our savior and the Lord of our lives, we have the blessed assurance that we will spend eternity with Him in heaven.