2020 will surely go down in history as one of the most interesting, strange, and difficult years ever. A worldwide pandemic, political upheaval, deadly storms, violent protests, and calls to defund police are seemingly daily occurrences. With a presidential election only a few weeks away, we will undoubtedly experience even more bizarre happenings! The year 1918 was also a difficult year for America. There were two major crises going on, WW1 and the Spanish Flu Pandemic. An estimated 675,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of the flu pandemic, and another 100,000 to the war.
It was during this difficult time that Helen Howarth Lemmel wrote the words to the song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” The inspiration for the hymn came from a tract given to her by a missionary friend. The tract was titled “Focused,” and contained these words, “So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.” From that quote, Lemmel wrote the following words:
“Oh soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.”
Millions of Americans are weary, troubled, and afraid as a result of what is happening across our nation. Their focus is on what they see, hear, and feel. But Christians know not to focus horizontally, on what’s around us, but rather vertically, that being on God and God alone. Where is your focus today? On the Covid-19 Pandemic? On the latest political news? On your job? On your finances? On your health? Focus on Him and the rest will indeed “grow strangely dim.” We can trust in God because we focus on Him by daily reading His Word and talking (prayer) to him.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
“Vision is the ability to see God’s presence, to perceive God’s power, to focus on God’s plan in spite of the obstacles. -Charles R. Swindoll