Turn your eyes

Can I just be real with you guys a second? The last 6 weeks have been really tough for me. Wait, scratch that, back it up, let’s try this again…

The last twelve months have been really toughfor me! Twelve months, people. That’s a whole year.

It all began with this virus you may have heard of – Covid-19, times two – and ended with a very unfriendly, debilitating little condition called pancreatitis. Believe it or not, for me, pancreatitis was a whole new level of awful, even compared to Covid-19. Yep, this one landed me in the hospital for eight days, kindafighting for my life for a minute there. And,listen, eight days is a long time to be in the hospital – about eight days too many.

Add that to all the lunacy going on in the world today – a country, polarized politically, “the church,” fighting amongst ourselves over insignificant things, families in crisis, addiction, homelessness, marriages in trouble…I could go on and on and on. 

So, here I am, trying to get my bearings on the many issues of life and society today – most of which I can’t remotely figure out how to fix – all the while adjusting to only eating around thirty fat grams per day. That was the last straw, I guess, because, apparently, I ate way more than thirty fat grams per day in my other, pre-pancreatitis life, that I loved so very much.

The truth is I wake up most mornings feeling anything but normal and put on a brave face, push through, silently hoping the state of the world and my lack of weekly Mexican food is just a bad nightmare. 

To be honest, I’m weary, I’m exhausted, I’m concerned, I’m confused, I’m hungry.

One night I was in the hospital, unable to sleep – OK, most nights, most nights I was in the hospital, unable to sleep – and cried out to Jesus. 

“Jesus, I need Your help. I need to know you’re here with me, right now, in this dreaded hospital room, not to mention this terrible hospital bed. I need You to comfort me, I need You to still me.We had all these plans, Lord, and now what? I can barely walk to the bathroom without help, how will I ever make a difference for You now?”

And very quietly I heard Him say,

“Sherra, come to Me. You need rest, not just for your body, but for your mind and your emotions. Come to Me.” 

For those of you who might not know this Scripture, it’s found in Matthew 11:28-30. It says,

Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

“Rest for my weary soul.” Guys, if I’ve ever in my life needed to hear those words, it was that night! 

The truth is, this life gets crazy, it gets bumpy, it gets hard; there are twists and turns coming that we could never anticipate. We will all experience these times of trouble, probably several times over, and there is no way we can navigate them in our own strength. So, what do we do? 

We go to Jesus – the One who understands this human life, in every way; the One who has promised to ALWAYS be with us and never, ever leave us; the One who always has our backs and knows all the answers.

That night in the hospital, I put on some worship music, one of Shane & Shane’s Hymns albums.One of the first songs that played was “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Fluke? I think not. 

The thing about this song is that it was my grandmother’s favorite hymn. I can remember,as a little girl, many nights, hearing her praying before bed. She’d not had the easiest life, but you never would have known it. Her faith in God was completely unwavering. Often, as she finished praying, she’d break out into the hymn she loved so much. The lyrics remind us that when we look at Jesus, our problems just seem to fade and not be nearly as clear and pressing as they were. My grandmother always modeled for me that, no matter what your problems were, Jesus was your answer. So, when you don’t know what to do, turn your eyes on the One who does.

How about you today? Are you weary and heavy burdened? Chances are you might be. Me, I still can’t eat cheese enchiladas, but I’m learning to keep my focus on Jesus, no matter what this world or our enemy may throw at me on any given day. He has the answers, Friend. Go to Him.

Oh, and I have discovered the magic of shrimp tacos. 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

By Helen H. Lemmel


O soul are you weary and troubled​​​His word shall not fail you he promised

No light in the darkness you see​​​​Believe him and all will be well

There’s light for a look at the Savior​​​Then go to a world that is dying

And life more abundant and free​​​​His perfect salvation to tell.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus​​​​Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in his wonderful face​​​​Look full in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim​​And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and graceIn the light of his glory and grace

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