September 06, 2021 Nate Lowe

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

(Hebrews 12:1-3)


Helen Lemmel emigrated, with her family, to the United States from England in 1875 at the age of 12. A daughter of a Methodist minister, she was an extremely gifted musician, songwriter, and singer. In 1907 she went to Germany to further study music and in 1911 returned to the US and began teaching vocal music at Moody Bible Institute.


Around 1918 one of Helen’s missionary friends gave her a devotional pamphlet titled “Focused” written by Lilias Trotter. In the pamphlet were the 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.”


After reading the words, “I stood still, ” Helen recalled, “and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but nonetheless dictated by the Holy Spirit.”


Then tragedy struck. Helen had a condition that eventually caused her to go completely blind. Her husband, because he couldn’t handle having a blind wife, left her. She would spend the rest of her days in a small, one room apartment on welfare composing music on a small, plastic keyboard. When asked by people how she was doing, Helen would always respond with, “I’m doing well in the things that count.” Her enthusiastic joy was contagious to all that would visit her. 


She also said, “One day God is going to bless me with a great heavenly keyboard, I can hardly wait!” Helen died, with her eyes fixed on Jesus in 1961 at the age of 98 but not before writing and composing 500 songs and poems. 


No matter where you are in life turn your eyes upon Jesus. Even though she lost her sight, Helen kept the eyes of her heart on Jesus. She lost so much while she was in this world but because she was looking to Christ and trusting in Him she gained everything!


O 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


His word shall not fail you he promised

Believe him and all will be well

Then go to a world that is dying

His perfect salvation to tell


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


O 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