By: Christi Grimm
For days, I have been singing the age-old hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I find myself singing it when I am working around the house, when I am in the shower, and when I am simply going about my day. It finally dawned on me that perhaps God had this song hanging onto the soundwaves of my mind for a reason. So, I asked Him: “Lord, why is this song in my mind constantly? Is there something You want to teach me?” God is faithful to answer.
If you are a member of society – a member of this world – your life has changed over the last couple of weeks. Life as we knew it “pre COVID-19” has abruptly stopped. It is all we see in our social media, it is much of what we talk about, it is constantly in our minds, and it is all the news outlets seem to be reporting on. There have never been more dry and cracked hands as there are now due to so much hand washing! The smell of hand sanitizer hangs in the air like jasmines’ smell hangs from the vine. We have all witnessed the fearful people – buying bulk supplies and emptying our grocery store shelves. We have also seen the flip side of the coin – people having parties and almost celebrating the time off; social partying instead of social distancing! We have witnessed our economy come to a screeching halt, businesses closing, drastic lay-offs, and thousands of deaths around the world. To be certain, we live in perilous times.
Each of us fall somewhere on the spectrum of viewpoint when it comes to how we are handling this crisis and what we believe about this unique and history-altering event. Being a Christ-follower definitely doesn’t mean we are all going to respond the same. Nor does it mean we will all agree with one another. But there is one thing we can all do that IS the same: Turn Our Eyes Upon Jesus.
We can each stop and ask ourselves “What are my eyes on?” Are our eyes on something fearful? Are they on the news too much? Are our eyes on ourselves too much? What about the grocery store shelves – are they looking at those too much causing us to develop a poverty mindset? How about the actual facts about the virus – perhaps your eyes are on the scientific articles too much.
Now, don’t get me wrong! We need to be educated and understand all aspects of this virus, our world, the effects, etc. However, we can quickly become an unbalanced society if we choose too much of any of it! Too many fruits and veggies can cause stomach issues, too much red meat can cause high cholesterol, too much sugar can lead to diabetes. Yet, all of it in proportion, and eaten wisely, causes a balanced and healthy diet.
So what does your spiritual diet look like currently? Where are your eyes turning most often?
Disciplining ourselves to turn our eyes upon Jesus, looking full in His wonderful face, brings Peace.
I have experienced it first hand over the last few weeks. Fear and Peace cannot co-exist. We can choose to walk in fear of what “may” happen, or we can choose to pick up the unexplainable Peace that Jesus offers. Sometimes it is a moment by moment conscious decision. But the more you choose to pick up His peace, by turning your eyes to Him, the more you will want to walk in it. His Peace is so good, so comforting…truly unexplainable. It is a peace that allows you to laugh with your family while you are home together. It is a peace that allows you to notice the beauty of the fragrant flowers that are blooming in the spring season. It is a peace that allows you to continue to dream and scheme with Jesus because you aren’t afraid of the future. We can look fully into fear’s face or we can look fully into Christ’s wonderful face. His face is far more attractive!
Turning our eyes upon Jesus, allowing Him to show our hearts who He really is, causes the circumstances and events of the world to grow strangely dim. When our hearts begin to grasp the bigness of our Heavenly Father – the Creator of this universe – the issues we are facing are put in their proper place. As we magnify our Lord, recognizing and reminding our forgetful hearts and minds of His vast abilities, this virus becomes but a tiny black dot on an otherwise white sheet of paper. The brighter His face shines upon your heart, the dimmer this world becomes. Gaze upon the one who deserves our allegiance. Gaze upon His Goodness, His Sovereignty, His Hand of Provision, His Faithfulness, His Glory, and His Grace.
Can you imagine what could happen if the entire body of Christ rose up in gazing upon the One who gives us our very breath? Imagine the wonder that could take place over the entire earth if our fellow humankind looked upon the peace in each of us. The Peace of Christ and the radiance He gives us as we look full in His wonderful face is unlike anything the world can imitate. Only the God of this universe can give that kind of peace and radiance. Are we willing to pause looking at our phones, at the news, and at the statistics and start looking upon His face? The world depends on it. Will you be a part of showing them Christ?
“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 Howarth Lemmel
Christi is a fifth generation Florida girl who loves the sand, the sea, and the sunshine! When she is not busy mothering her 6 children, she enjoys her garden, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and indulging in warm chocolate chip cookies while reading a good book or journaling. Christi is passionate about bringing women alongside her into a life of freedom in Christ, and does so by leading Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreats.