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!”

Anxiety and Resting in Jesus

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“I need to make puppy chow,” I told myself as I thought of what to bring to our Christmas gathering with our kids and grandkids this year. Last year I was sick that whole week prior to our gathering, so when one of my granddaughters asked me on short notice to make puppy chow, I knew I had to tell her I was sorry but I couldn’t this time. Even when I’m at my “normal,” I have to pace myself in order to reserve energy for the day of an exciting event.

And now a year later, it was still bothering me! It’s crazy how hard I can be on myself sometimes. I texted my granddaughter, “Guess what I just made?” She had no clue. She said she often doesn’t remember her food requests.

It baffles me why I get so wound up when I can’t do something someone asks of me. I’m always overanalyzing. Often when I think people must feel hurt or let down, it ends up that the situation never entered their minds again. Like water off a duck’s back.

At times I feel more grounded in Jesus and filled with His love, and all the stress and worry falls away. But then the I-never-do-enough monster knocks me flat and helpless.

I carry this drive that I must “do” more to show I care into my relationship with Jesus as well. I need to relax and let it sink in more that He is going to love me no matter what. I don’t have to earn His approval. He loves me just the way I am. And He knows I love Him. He just wants me to “be” the me He created me to be in whatever season of life He has placed me, not to stress out about doing more or being better.

Sometimes I have to persuade myself, “Give yourself a break! Why are you always putting yourself on a guilt trip? Just cool it. Relax and let yourself lean into Jesus, His love, His grace.”

Broken one, He loves you, too! Do you sometimes fret that you should “do” more? For Him and for others? We don’t have to earn His love or approval. He accepts us just as we are. He loves us unconditionally. He freely gives us His grace. He longs for us to leave our worries and cares to Him and to lean hard on Him within the circling arms of His love.

“God saved you by His grace when you believed.
And you can’t take credit for this;
it is a gift from God.
Salvation is not a reward
for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.”
Ephesians 2:8-9
“Give all your worries and cares to God,
for He cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:7

In Jesus arms

Lean Hard

by Octavius Winslow (1800s)

Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of your care;
I know your burden, child. I shaped it;
Balanced it in Mine own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to your unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers;
So will I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose it on a shoulder that upholds
The government of worlds. Yet closer come:
You are not near enough. I would embrace your care;
So I might feel My child reclining on My breast.
You love Me, I know. So then do not doubt;
But loving Me, lean hard.

A Child's Trust

“Be Still, My Soul (In You I Rest)”
by Kari Jobe

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The Love of Jesus Will Always Be Stronger

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Sometimes insecurity, shame, and fear shackle us down in despair. Weighing down our arms like lead so that we cannot lift them to praise our Savior. Restraining our feet from stepping forward to live a life of freedom and devotion to our God. Molding our necks into a downward thrust that we fail to lift our eyes to see the goodness God surrounds us with.

In Christ Jesus and His sacrifice for us, He has already unlocked all these shackles. So why do we so often bind ourselves up again? Why do we refuse His powerful love? Why do we avoid Jesus’ proffered hand and refuse His key to freedom?

Sometimes we long to reach out for that key He has promised us, but insecurity, shame, and fear have such deep roots in our hearts. Jesus longs for us to lay our chained-up hearts at His feet. To believe in His power to shatter the shackles. He lifts our bruised and bleeding bodies and hearts and hugs us to Himself, saying, “My child, I understand what you’re going through. Grasp hold of this truth – I love you and want to free you completely. Believe that you are precious to Me and you will always be safe and enough in Me.”

Jesus has such inexpressible patience with us. His love is so unconditional, and His grace is so freely given. As a testimony of who He is and what He has done for us, I feel a need to write. I confess that sometimes the words don’t always flow freely like I hear many writers experience. I feel inadequate, I fear rejection, and it hurts too much to write transparently. Yet I feel His nudge to answer the whispers He places in my heart. He won’t let me go. He mows down all my excuses with His faithful promises, “My child, have I not promised I will never, never leave you or forsake you? Have I not promised that you can do all things through Me? Trust Me, My child. My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” (Deut. 31:6, 2 Cor. 12:9)

“But He has said to me,
‘My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy
are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation];
for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself
most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore,
I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ
[may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP

Sometimes when we’re in despair, we can’t see how God has helped us through so much. When the chains of insecurity, shame, and fear are deadweight in our lives, we can feel like He has totally forsaken us. We can feel so worthless that we can’t imagine Him even wanting to think of us. At those times, we are blind to our true identity in Him, the power of His love that has brought us through many deep valleys, and the promise that He will always be with us. We forget that every breath we take is Him breathing life into us.

The powerful love of Jesus will always be stronger than any shackle that binds us. God’s power parted the Red Sea and freed the Israelites from slavery. His power rose Jesus from the dead. His power can reach into our shackled hearts, too. He is powerful to burst the chains asunder that hold us back from joy in Him. Powerful to break all barriers that inhibit us from living a life in the fullness of the freedom there is to be found in Jesus. Powerful to “strengthen our weak hands and steady our knees that give way” (Isaiah 35:3), to give us a dance of victory that echoes praises to His Name.

A Child's Trust

“Shackles [Praise You]”
by Mary Mary

“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
I just wanna praise You
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise You
I’m gonna praise You”

all things are possible in God

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