Sunday, July 05, 2009

My Faith Looks Up to Thee

An interesting story regarding this lovely hymn.

Mrs. Lay­yah Bar­a­kat, a na­tive of Syr­ia, was ed­u­cat­ed in Bei­rut and then taught for a time in Egypt. Driv­en out in 1882 by the in­sur­rect­ion of Ara­bi Pa­sha, she, with her hus­band and child, came to Amer­i­ca by way of Mal­ta and Mar­seilles. Her his­to­ry is a strange il­lus­tra­tion of God’s pro­vi­den­tial care, as they were with­out any di­rect­ion or friends in Phil­a­del­phia when they land­ed. But the Lord took them into His own keep­ing, and brought them to those who had known of her in Syr­ia. While in this coun­try she fre­quent­ly ad­dressed large au­di­enc­es, to whom her deep ear­nest­ness and brok­en but pi­quant Eng­lish proved un­u­su­al­ly at­tract­ive. Among other in­ci­dents she re­lat­ed that she had been per­mit­ted to see the con­ver­sion of her whole fam­i­ly, who were Mar­o­nites of Mount Le­ba­non. Her mother, six­ty-two years of age, had been taught ‘My Faith Looks Up to Thee’ in Ar­a­bic. They would sit on the house roof and re­peat it to­ge­ther; and when the news came back to Syr­ia that the daugh­ter was safe in Amer­i­ca, the mo­ther could send her no bet­ter proof of her faith and love than in the beau­ti­ful words of this hymn, as­sur­ing her that her faith still looked up to Christ.


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!

By Ray Palmer, 1830



For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

3 comments:

MightyMom said...

neat story

Kathy said...

How nice! I like those kinds of stories! :) I'm now reading a book about the lives of early hymn writers which is interesting too.

Brenda said...

beautiful