Today I attended the funeral of a wonderful Christian lady who at 94 went to be with her dearly loved Savior. I learned one of her favorite hymns was the one by Charlotte Elliott, “Just as I Am” This hymn has been sung for many years and there are many stories of people being gloriously converted through the words of this hymn. I cannot authenticate the validity of the story I heard today at the funeral concerning this hymn but I will pass it on as It is probably true.
Charlotte went to be with her beloved Savior in Sept. of 1871. Those disposing of her belongings, discovered in a desk drawer over 100 letters from people who had put their faith in Charlotte’s Savior through the lyrics of, “Just as I Am” It was very touching to hear this but my heart was also filled with praise and adoration to think of the grace of our God who continues to use this hymn as a means to bring His Sons into the Kingdom. Think of it this was over 100 years ago!
She trusted the Savior after a young Christian pastor asked her the question; “I hope you are a Christian” Charlotte became very angry but the Spirit of God would not let that question leave her. She met the pastor again and told him her story asking how she could find this Savior. His reply, “You have nothing of merit to bring God, you must come just as you are” from there the Holy Spirit worked in her heart and she became a child of God.
It was after this she penned these beautiful words:
“Just as I am, without one plea,But that thy blood was shed for me And that thou bids me come to thee,O Lamb of God, I come”
One story I found about the life of this dear saint (@http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/charlotte-elliott) was this:
“From the age of 33 until her death, Charlotte suffered crippling fatigue. “My Heavenly Father knows, and He alone, what it is, day after day, and hour after hour, to fight against bodily feelings of almost overpowering weakness and languor and exhaustion, to resolve, as He enables me to do, not to yield to the slothfulness, the depression, the irritability, such as a body causes me to long to indulge, but to rise every morning determined on taking this for my motto, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ ”
This resolve to take on a fresh challenge every day and follow her Lord gave me great encouragement.
Another verse that came to me as I read this was about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”
“And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ASV)
Hymns take on a different meaning when we know about the author and the circumstances that prompted the lyrics
One final thought as I read this post again. This Hymn has been used mightily by God but it will not be just Charlotte Elliott that will receive the reward but that young pastor who dared to ask the question: “I hope you are a Christian” May we never wait to have all understanding about the Word of God before we witness to those we meet.
Both the young pastor and Charlotte will hear the Words: “Well done thou good and FAITHFUL SERVANT.”
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