“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
Last Christmas, my pastor gave the Life Group leaders new Bibles. I immediately fell in love, because there are songs and stories also integrated into strategic places in both the Old and New Testaments. These are not meant to change the Word itself, but to lend enhancement and further knowledge, to accent the important events and messages contained within God’s holy Word. As a history buff of sorts, I love learning the history of hymns, how people were inspired and wrote them, many of them despite hardships and handicaps. They were inspired by the Lord Himself.
One such story addresses one of my favorite songs, which is the title of this devotional. It was written in 1918 by a woman named Helen Lemmel. Her story is fascinating, as she was exceptionally musically talented, and chose to use her gift in the service of the Lord. Her life was filled with blessings and opportunity. One might think she could never face real trials in her life, since she did everything right. But that all changed when she lost her sight and her husband walked out on her. By God’s grace, she only lost her physical sight, not the spiritual sight that comes from knowing Jesus.
When we lose the ability to look up and see Jesus, we will find the enemy not very far away, just waiting for his chance to devour us. Following Jesus in all the right ways, doing all the correct Christian things, does not guarantee we will not face difficulties. As I see depicted on church signs often, He did not promise us a bed of roses, but He did promise us a safe landing.
If we allow the trials and hardships to pull us away from Jesus, then we open ourselves up to missing the mark. Not living out our beliefs. Doubting that Jesus loves us enough to fix it all. And while He may not fix it, regardless of His love for us, what He will do is help us through it. When we train our eyes back on Him, on His beautiful, wonderful face, our countenance will change, our attitudes will change, our lives will change. His light will give us the will to continue on, serving Him, and doing what He has called us to do, by His grace alone.
Helen Lemmel experienced this grace. While she did not recover her physical sight, she went on to live a life of purpose and strength. Her influence on others regained the impact of Christ it once had. And she lived to experience joy, and most of all Jesus.
Jesus is Our Hope. And because He is, we will never completely lose our sight, as long as we focus on His face, and His alone. He is the hope of the ages, able to bring us through the most terrible of human conditions, only to find hope, peace, and grace within His loving gaze. Reach out to Him in times of trouble, and find the hope that is waiting to spring up within you. Look upon His wonderful face!
If you have faced a serious, life-changing situation in your life, and looking up at Jesus restored you, please comment here or go to www.mystoryofgrace.com, and share your story. We want to rejoice with you!