Jesus Invites Us To Come Just As We Are

Do you ever feel useless? Perhaps you’re limited physically or emotionally and can’t do what your heart really wants to do? Maybe you see others so busy helping others, but you have no energy to get out there yourself?

Charlotte Elliott knew what that felt like. Her carefree life began in 1789 but drastically changed in her early thirties when a severe illness devastated her life. She spent the next 50 years of her life as an invalid in terrible pain, weakness, and exhaustion.

She began to blame God for making her a prisoner. Depression cast a deep darkness on her soul. Her anger turned to bitterness.

One day a Swiss evangelist came to see her. He talked of peace and joy and read God’s Word to her. She lashed out at him and God, and he told her she had become bitter and resentful. God convicted her, and she confessed that she didn’t know how to come to Christ. He counseled her, “You have nothing of merit to bring to God. You must come just as you are.”

That day became a turning point in her life as she grasped onto Jesus as her Savior. God didn’t take her affliction away, but she knew she had the Anchor of Hope to hold onto, and that He would give her sufficient grace.

Still, she sometimes struggled and became depressed. She felt so useless, especially when she saw those around her always busy with some service for God.

The night before a charity bazaar her family prepared for, she couldn’t sleep because of deep distress. Doubts ravaged her spirit. Had God rejected her?

The day of the bazaar, she was alone at home, confined by her sickness. All the distressing thoughts of the night hit her again. She knew they could only be conquered by the grace of God. As she gathered up the promises of God in her soul, she recalled the words from her spiritual mentor to come to Christ just as we are.

She then, at the age of 45, penned the words of a much-loved hymn – “Just As I Am.” Later on, it was published and has been a comfort to many souls of God’s unconditional love for close to two centuries.

A woman who felt useless was used by God for far more people that she ever knew. Still today, her words spread hope to the hopeless that God wants us to come to Him just as we are, resting only on the blood of Jesus that He shed for us.

Do you see Jesus’ arms of love stretched out inviting us to “Come!” No matter how useless we feel. No matter how hopeless we feel. No matter how rejected we feel. He desires to wrap us in His arms of bottomless, unconditional love and free grace. It’s not about what we do for Him. It’s about what He has done for us.

“For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith — and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God — not by works,
so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

“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!
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!
Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
– O Lamb of God, 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!
Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
– O Lamb of God, I come!
Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
– O Lamb of God, 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!”

18 thoughts on “Jesus Invites Us To Come Just As We Are

  1. I had not idea that that is how this hymn came about. What a beautiful story. God’s way is so much better than we could even imagine for ourselves. There is such hope in that! Thanks for being here, just as you are, Trudy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you in finding such hope in God’s way being so much better than we could ever imagine for ourselves, Lynn. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. May we come to Jesus just as we are, pleading only on His sacrifice for us!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing, inspiring story you’ve shared here, Trudy, one I’d never heard before – eye (and heart) opening! And I can’t begin to fathom the hundreds of thousands of people this one woman touched with her words penned in “Just As I Am.” As I recall, it was the perennial “anthem” at the Billy Graham crusades. Just wow!!!
    Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you were inspired by this story, Martha. There are such touching stories behind many hymns and inspirational songs, aren’t there? I read, too, that Billy Graham used this hymn as an altar call. His autobiography is also titled “Just As I Am.” Apparently, he was converted to Christianity when this hymn was used as an altar call at a revival meeting. Yes! Just wow! How God works far beyond what we can imagine is so amazing, isn’t it? May we daily be inspired to come to Jesus just as we are each day, nothing from us and all from Him! Blessings to you, too!


  3. Dear Trudy, I had read a shorter portion of this story, but your fuller background today is so beautiful. The Lord has been stirring in me lately about the multiplied harvest that HE will bring from the small seeds that we sow with His grace. How beautifully this illustrates that! Into the midst of her brokenness, she yet allowed the Lord to sow His grace and faithfulness into her. This is touching me so much today, thinking about the beauty that Jesus brings forth from our surrenders. May I give Him fuller access to my own heart. Blessings, love, and hugs to you my friend. xoxo

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    1. I read so many variations of this story that it was hard to know which was accurate, so I tried the best I could to weave together what seemed to be mentioned the most. What’s most important is how God weaves together our stories into His story, right? Thank you for sharing what God has been stirring in your heart lately and your insight of how Charlotte allowed the Lord to sow His grace and faithfulness into her, Bettie. It really touches my heart and gives me hope! May we ever more deeply surrender our hearts and lives to our Lord to whom all power belongs and who alone can multiply the harvest in His time and way! Blessings, love, and hugs back to you!


  4. I love that hymn, Trudy, but I didn’t know anything about the story behind it, so thanks for sharing this! It is amazing to think that Charlotte Elliott felt she was no use to God but that he has used her words to encourage so many people! It’s so important to remember that God can use us, however we feel, not because of our strength but by his Spirit working through us. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Yes! “Not because of our strength but by His Spirit working through us.” Thank you, Lesley. This reminds me of a verse in Zechariah – “Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit.” The story of Charlotte’s struggle behind this well-known hymn has really inspired me, too. Love and hugs back to you! May we learn ever more deeply that it is not by our strength but only through the power of His Spirit in us!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Trudy, I am coming over from June’s blog. It’s so nice to meet you and visit your lovely blog….I had heard this story many years ago but had forgotten it until I started reading your post. It is truly amazing how God’s grace came come into our lives and make beauty out of ashes…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Hannah. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to stop in. June’s nature photos have often refreshed my fainting spirit. 🙂 Yes, it truly is amazing how God’s grace makes beauty out of ashes! May His grace do the same for us!


  6. I had no idea of the story behind that hymn! I am truly thankful that God wants us to approach Him just as we are. We don’t need to put on a facade or anything else. I am thankful God uses us, sometimes in spite of ourselves. We never really know the impact our words or actions can have on another, especially if we’re seeking to live for God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, me too, Jeanne. I’m thankful with you that God uses us in spite of ourselves. This story gives hope that He has the power to use our words even after we’re gone. May we surrender our all to Him and come to Him just as we are!

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  7. Hi Trudy, I didn’t know how to send you an email…You asked about subscribing to my blog, go to the home page and at the bottom is a space to do so….Thank you so much for visiting me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it truly is fascinating, Linda. I love the truth you share here – “Jesus never fails. Jesus never changes.” He is that true Essence of our stories, isn’t He? May we cling to His never-failing love and His infinite faithfulness!


  8. Trudy, this is such an amazing and faith inspiring post! I’d never heard the backstory of how this hymn came to be penned. It really shows what a single heart surrendered to God can achieve for His Kingdom! Wow! Yet like so many who act simply out of faithful obedience, she would have had no idea of the impact of her words. They hit me afresh as I read them here. Yours is the second post today that has convicted me to heed Jesus’ voice tugging at my heartstrings. Time to listen, methinks. Thank you for your faithful outpourings here, my friend. I think you will be surprised and delighted when God reveals just how many people have been affected, helped and influenced by them! Blessings, love and grateful hugs! xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Joy. I believe you also will be surprised and delighted to know how many people have been “affected, helped, and influenced” by your words! Yes, “a single heart surrendered to God.” I found such hope in Charlotte’s story. God uses each of us in His own way, no matter how broken we are, doesn’t He? Yes, definitely heed Jesus’ voice tugging at your heartstrings. I need to pay more attention, too. Blessings, love, and grateful hugs back to you! May we come to our Savior, just as we are, surrendering our all to Him, and remembering all power belongs to Him and not to us!

      Liked by 1 person

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