My Faith Looks Up To Thee

This is an old favorite, and we’ll be singing it tomorrow morning at the early service!

The lyrics were written by Ray Palmer, who was a rather unhappy and lonely young man teaching school in New York City when he was inspired to write the words for this song.  He wrote the words in a notebook that he kept in his pocket, and didn’t give the matter much more thought.

Two years later while visiting Boston, Palmer happened to run into his friend, Lowell Mason, an accomplished musician.  Mason said that he was getting ready to publish a hymnbook and asked if Palmer had anything he would like to contribute.  That caused Palmer to remember his poem, so he pulled out his notebook and showed Mason what he had written.  Mason copied the words and set them to music.

Later, Mason said, “Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best-known to posterity as the author of ‘My Faith Looks Up to Thee'”.

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

This story reminds me that God’s plan for us isn’t always immediate, and we don’t usually see the whole picture right away. Whether the plan takes 2 days or 2 years to come to fruition, it’s up to us to trust that He has everything under control, and everything will come to pass on His schedule.

I have dozens of examples of this in my own life. If I hadn’t had to leave one job before I had planned, I wouldn’t have been looking when a better one came along. Likewise with apartments, if I hadn’t had to break my lease in my last apartment due to unmanageable living conditions, I wouldn’t have been looking for a new place when this one opened up, and the community I now live in is truly a blessing. And an example that pans out several years: a rejection for a summer job traveling after my freshman year in college led to a summer job that eventually led to my junior internship, which happened to lead to my first introduction to the city of Richmond, and after I moved here, it eventually helped me land my first full-time job after moving here, where I met my best friend, along with a host of other great people.

It does take patience sometimes, and always a lot of trust, but at the end of the day, all you have to do is put your life in His hands, let him know that whatever He has in store for you, you’re ready for it and that you trust that it’s all part of His plan. And then, hang on! 🙂