JUST AS I AM
Charlotte Elliott, 1789–1871
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.” (John 6:35, 37)
Often we feel that if only we were in different circumstances or had some special talent, we could be a better witness for God and serve Him more effectively. Today’s hymn was written by a bed-ridden invalid who felt useless to do anything except express her feelings of devotion to God. Yet Charlotte Elliott’s simply worded text has influenced more people for Christ than any hymn ever written or perhaps any sermon ever preached.
As a young person in Brighton, England, Miss Elliott was known as “carefree Charlotte.” She was a popular portrait artist and a writer of humorous verse. At the age of 30, however, a serious ailment made her an invalid for life. She became listless and depressed until a well-known Swiss evangelist, Dr. Caesar Malan, visited her. Sensing her spiritual distress, he exclaimed, “Charlotte, you must come just as you are—a sinner—to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Immediately placing her complete trust in Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for her, Charlotte experienced inner peace and joy in spite of her physical affliction until her death at the age of 82.
Charlotte Elliott wrote approximately 150 hymns throughout her lifetime; today she is considered to be one of the finest of all English hymnwriters. “God sees, God guards, God guides me,” she said. “His grace surrounds me and His voice continually bids me to be happy and holy in His service—just where I am!”
Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, tho tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind—Sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in Thee to find—O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
For Today: Psalm 51:1, 2; John 1:29; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:13
Give God thanks for His acceptance of us just as we are. As we respond in simple faith to Him, we will find “all that we need,” not only for our personal salvation but also for the particular place of service that He has for us.