Just As I Am


Last week when I was doing posts on the Theme Songs through my life, Janice asked about spiritual songs which I had not included. Indeed, I could have traced my spiritual journey through a list of songs and Hymns. The earliest hymn, that meant something to me was “Just as I am”.

This hymn was written by Charlotte Elliot in 1835 and set to music by William Bradbury in 1849. There is an interesting story here. Charlotte was visiting some friends in West London and she was introduced to a Christian Minister, Cesar Malan. While seated at dinner, Dr. Malan asked if she was a Christian. She took great offence to being asked this and refused to answer the question. Dr. Malan apologised saying that he tried whenever possible to speak about God’s good news and said he hoped that she would one day be a worker for Christ.

When they met again at another gathering a few weeks later, Charlotte confessed that since their first meeting and his question, she had been seeking her Saviour but did not know how to come to Him. To which, Dr. Malan replied, “Just come to Him as you are.” With these words she came to the Lord and opened her heart and life to Him. She wrote this hymn soon after, in effect, a testimony to her conversion experience.

This was the same hymn that was being sung when I made a decision for Christ and so was part of my conversion experience too. Until that moment, I had tried to make deals with God asking for help but wanting to live life for myself and not surrendering it to God. So the words of the hymn held two meanings to me. The first was the realisation that I could not bargain with God because I had nothing to offer. The second was the realisation that there was nothing I could do to make myself worthy of His love and forgiveness but it didn’t matter because it was all about His free gift of love and forgiveness. I came to Him bereft of bargains, pleadings, arguements and excuses and found peace, love and acceptance. I hope that one day this might be your experience too.

Photocredit: Groflow

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though 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.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

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