I don’t know why I thought of this illustration in particular this morning other than Sarah writing about trust and fear/worry being sort of like the opposing ends of a seesaw wherein trust going up necessitates fear and worry going down, and my mind ran to this other illustration. And as I thought about these illustrations my mind raced off to other similar illustrations of divided attention or of one thing clouding another. Each of them illustrated in one way or another, that a fullness of trust and a fullness of fear and worry cannot occupy the same space at the same time, just as a fullness of any activity cannot occupy the same space as the fullness of another. One must give way to the other, even if that giving way is somewhat tenuous or fluctuating at times.
Helen Lemmel penned the words to “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” in 1922 (originally known as “The Heavenly Vision”), and it has grown to become a favorite hymn of Christians since. The first stanza and refrain read like this: “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) 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.”
It appears that Ms. Lemmel was influenced by the writings of Lilias Trotter, who wrote: "'Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen harmless worlds at once -- art, music, social science, games, motoring, the following of some profession, and so on. And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the good hiding the best.’ It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His Glory. Turn your soul's vision to Jesus, and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him." - Lilias Trotter
The Scripture passage associated with this hymn is Hebrews 12:2, where we read, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
As I took a break from writing to consider what the Bible had to say concerning the issue of “fullness” or being “filled,” I went to my concordance and read a number of the verses in which these words occurred. As I read both Old Testament and New Testament passages I was struck with the concept that the verses either spoke of being filled with something directed toward God and from God, or they spoke of things that were reflective of man and from man. There were some verses wherein they spoke of finding joy in God for His good gifts, but there were also verses which spoke of finding joy in God during trials, but I didn’t find any verses which spoke of being filled with the things of the world and the things of God at the same time. Rather there were numerous verses which spoke of the battle between them, even the battle between two good things, such as the husband caring for his wife even competing with his being concerned about the things of the Lord as we read in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 where we read, “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” And we know that these concerns are legitimate and even existent with foreknowledge of God who Himself created man and woman to be united to each other in marriage.
If you are struggling in this area I would encourage you to look into a concordance and read the verses containing these words. There are even some free ones online (e.g., www.biblegateway.com) as well as others at a nominal expense (http://www.esvbible.org/). Following, I am listing just a few of the verses dealing with the fullness which we can know from God:
Psalm 71:8 My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long.
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Philippians 1:11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
So when you look at your glass of water on the table and think about whether it is half full or half empty, or when you walk by a park and see the rare sight nowadays of a teeter-totter (seesaw), or even when you wipe up a spill on the table, and when you feel that pressure on your heart or a void in your heart, stop and turn your eyes to Jesus. Our God is always with those who have placed their trust in His Son for their salvation. His Spirit has been given to us to fill and to guide, and His Son is our ever-present intercessor. God is our help for every concern and He does know and is concerned about our every thought and burden. “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.”
Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (8/10)
Relax in My healing, holy Presence. Allow Me to transform you through this time alone with Me. As your thoughts center more and more on Me, trust displaces fear and worry. Your mind is somewhat like a seesaw. As your trust in Me goes up, fear and worry automatically go down. Time spent with Me not only increases your trust; it also helps you discern what is important and what is not.
Energy and time are precious, limited entities. Therefore, you need to use them wisely, focusing on what is truly important. As you walk close to Me, saturating your mind with Scripture, I will show you how to spend your time and energy. My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a Light for your path.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NJKV)