“…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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God…” – Hebrews 12:2

It is extraordinary how God uses the simplest realities to teach us great truths. Among the many thousands of hymns, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus holds a tender place in the hearts of many believers. The gentle appeal and tender rebuke urges you to look away from all else and simply “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” Few know, however, this call to fix your eyes on Christ was given by a blind woman! 

Born in 1864, Helen Lemmel moved to the United States around the age of twelve. From a young age, her musical ability was noticed by all those around her. 

In 1907, She moved to Germany for 4 years to undergo intensive music training. It was here that she would meet her husband. Together, they returned to the United States in 1911. While in America, she served faithfully in the Lord’s work. She dedicated herself to writing, arranging, and teaching songs and hymns of the faith  

A few years after her marriage, a tragic illness caused her to lose her vision. Her husband, refusing to attend to a blind wife, left her. This time of hurt and loss weighed heavily upon Helen. 

Then, in 1918, Lemmel was introduced to a pamphlet written by Algerian missionary Lilias Trotter. Trotter was a well-known artist who had given up a rising and lucrative career to serve the Lord on the misson field. Her words stirred the heart of Lemmel. She writes, “Suddenly, as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, 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…These verses were written…the same week…” 

The words that so captivated Helen were these: “How do we bring things to a focus in the world of optics? Not by looking at the things to be dropped, but by looking at the one point that is to be brought out. Turn full your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look…look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him, and the Divine “attrait” by which God’s saints are made…will lay hold of you. For “He is worthy” to have all there is to be had in the heart that He has died to win.” 

Helen kept her eyes on the Lord Jesus and continued to serve Him faithfully.  She would lead a women’s choral group for many of the Billy Sunday outreaches, teach music at the Moody Bible Institute, and pen over 400 hymns! Her life is a stirring challenge to us all. Hence, it may be said that although blind, her spiritual sight has challenged those of us who can see to keep our eyes fixed on Christ.    

Are you weary, tired, hurting, confused, or frustrated? My friend, turn your eyes upon our dear Savior today, and the things of earth will grow “strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

1. 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! (Refrain)

(Refrain) 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.

2. Thro’ 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! (Refrain)

3. 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! (Refrain)

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey exists to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage pastors and local churches, and equip believers to walk with God and serve Him each day. Through audio, video, and print resources we are seeking to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God, and reach this generation for Christ.

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