There is an old hymn that has had a bit of rebirth in meaning for me over the last year. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus was written by Helen H. Lemmel in 1922. In its lyrics is a helpful recipe for putting the things in life that can so easily weigh us down into perspective.
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
The big lesson is found in those first two lines. First of all, “Turn”. It is so easy to want a new perspective, begin a new way of thinking, and to begin looking at life in fresh, new ways, yet stay focused on all the stuff that is keeping us from getting there. There is a turning required. We need to make a conscious decision to turn our eyes away from those things and toward Jesus. He is the only one that can breathe new life into a tired and despairing outlook. It is literally the picture of walking North and turning around to walk South – a 180o turn.
Secondly, we read “Look Full”. If you want the things that are holding you back to grow dim as the hymn says, then you can’t keep one eye on them and the other on Jesus. You cannot have split vision. Your full focus must be on Him. If we keep glancing away, we will find ourselves bogged down by what we see, by what we think is possible, and by what our understanding can grasp. God has no such limitations.
His glory, grace and presence are completely sufficient. We can choose to put the full weight of our hope in that or we can hold on to some piece of our struggle because we want to be in control. Perhaps like me, you have found yourself in that same spot.
Ultimately, we all have a choice to make if we want to move forward, blaze new trails and experience peace in our journey. We will have to consciously turn our eyes away from the hurdles and toward the One who longs to lead us. And we will have to look fully into His face (a wonderful face by the way) and not waiver.
What a promise awaits us. The things of earth will grow strangely (unexplainably) dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Live this week on purpose,