THE HEAVENLY VISION: GLORY, GRACE, HOPE

A popular hymn (and one of my personal favorites) was written by Helen Howarth Lemmel approximately 100 years ago. It is a source of hope, and when I learned Lemmel’s life story I gained even more hope. She was inspired to write it after reading a tract, “Focused” by Lilias Trotter, an artist and a missionary to Algiers. (I plan to focus on Trotter’s tract in a later blogpost.)

Lemmel (1864-1961) was a talented singer and concert performer who was becoming famous. Sadly her future was to include blindness. Then she was abandoned by her husband as she lost her sight. Consequently she also lost her financial livelihood and was often destitute.

Lemmel’s potentially overwhelming losses did not stop her from penning about 500 hymns. Many hearts are touched still today and many find hope in hymns that include “The  Heavenly Vision.” This is probably her best known hymn, although you may not recognize this title. It is known today as “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

It has blessed my heart for more than 50 years. I liked it immediately when I first heard it, and I actually remember when I did and where I was. I believe its message is as pertinent now as when it was written. Perhaps it is needed even more now, because we are indeed in a troubled and dark time on our planet. We — all of us —  need the light of His glory and grace more than ever.

Hope comes when we see God’s glory and grace. It is apparent to me that Lemmel understood the blessing of seeing “the heavenly vision“– of turning her eyes upon Jesus. Surely she experienced looking full in His wonderful face. Of course the result was that the things of earth grew strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

God’s glory and grace bring hope. It was real for Lemmel. It is real for true believers around the world. It can be real for you, too, when you turn your eyes upon Jesus.

TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS

“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.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion —
For more than conqu’rors we are!

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.”
(Helen Lemmel)

 

Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45: 22)

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” (Hebrews 12: 2)

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
( Psalms 69: 30)

Turn full your soul’s vision to Jesus and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him….”
(Lilias Trotter)

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