Just As I Am

on Sunday, August 05, 2007

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

46 comments:

daysgoby said...

I have always loved that song!
Isn't it funny how some of those old hymns 'grab you by the hand'?

Ellie said...

One of my favorites and it was interesting to read how the song came about. On my "things to do list" I hope to one day do research on all the old hymns I love and see how they came about. Do you have any books or websites in which you would recommend to help me do my research?

the walking man said...

I never bargain with the Creator, but we do use the doubling cube a lot when we play backgammon together, and by the way He is not that good at pool.

Peace

mark

Janice Thomson said...

Loved this post Lgs and that hymn is truly awe-inspiring.
Your words reminded me of one particular time I tried bargaining with God too. We had moved and for some reason the freezer quit. We were broke from the move and I really needed that food and for a week I kept bargaining: "if You do this I'll do that" etc. The minister and all the neighbors left packets of food on our steps. It was such a heartfelt time of goodwill. Finally on hands and knees I said: Your will be done, not mine.
The freezer worked by next morning's sun.

Ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hello Janice Thomson,

I think we should link pinkies.
My freezer too, conked out this morning...but I think I now hear the faint hum of a fan in there!

Lone Grey Squirel is obviously a good person, and I wish him well.

Ivan

leslie said...

That hymn helped me to understand that I didn't have to be perfect to be accepted by Christ. It is just the opposite - that HE accepts you warts and all.

Must comment on your previous post re the Haka - OMIGOD - that's what the BC Lions Football Team needs to do - intimidate the opposition! Hah!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

daysgoby,
some of the old hymns have beautiful and meaningful lyrics. The newer Christian songs can be nice to hear and contemporary but the lyrics are sometimes trite and repetitive. Or am I just showing my age. Lol.

ellie,
Nowadays with Internet and Google it is easy to find out about most songs. Even Wikipedia has a great number of hymns. But this website is a good one to start with; http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm#lk . Happy researching.

Mark,
Sorry to burst your bubble but God being God, cannot be poor in anything. Therefore, He's letting you win at pool. Hmmm. I wouldn't accept that final bet.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

janice,
Great story. Thanks for sharing. Isn't it wonderful that He still loves us and watches out for us even though we are whiny rebellious brats.

ivan,
schmoozing? Hope your fridge works out. Thanks for the nice wishes.

leslie,
The hymn does lay it out clearly and wonderfully.

As for the BC Lions, from what I remember, they need all the help they can get.

the walking man said...

LGS

Man when it comes to the Creator I have no bubbles left to burst, but that final bet hasn't been accepted by Him yet. Keeps telling me "not yet, there is more to do."

Knowing that I am created in His own image there is no need for him to let me win at anything. I have to work at it just like every other person born of the spirit.

Peace

mark

CS said...

I was just talking with a patient an hour ago about the hymn "I'll fly away" and its menaing for her. I always loved "Joyful, Joyful" to the tune of Beethoven's 9th.

Sincerity said...

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony! Its so rare to read that on blogs. I guess some people are afraid of losing readers or something.
I'll pray God keeps using you as a shining example. The internet makes reaching out to others so much easier than ever before. Blessings to you brother! And feel free to drop by my little corner of the internet from time-to-time.
Is it alright if I include you on my list of blogs to visit?

Open Grove Claudia said...

How very cool! Thanks for sharing something so sweet and personal. Most of these hymns I know, but I don't know all the words. You rock!

eastcoastdweller said...

This was a beautiful post. I am glad that you have found your faith -- I am struggling so hard with mine right now -- the desire is there, the hope is there, but nothing else.

A meaningless, godless universe is a very depressing concept.

My doubt has become an ugly thing inside me that I wish I could evict.

I want to see those film depictions of Jesus walking on water and healing people and feeling the joy in them that I once did, not the nagging sensation that it's all a beautiful myth.

Jocelyn said...

I find it lovely that you can point to one specific hymn that has been so influential to you. I wouldn't have been surprised to read a Top Five list here, so one seems especially, yes, lovely.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Mark,
Thanks for the comments. It is true that life is something that we have to work at and struggle through but I hope you see the point of the hymn which is we don't need to work at being accepted by God. We just need to come to Him just as we are. Peace, brother.

cs,
I don't know a hymn called 'I fly away" but that seems to suit my fantasy life! LoL. "Joyful, Joyful" is a great hymn amongst hymns though.

sincerity,
Thank you for the encouragement. I came by to your blog and see that you use it to minister to others quite a lot. My blog is a mixed bag of assorted nuts but of course my faith is also shared here. You can check the link "Christian Faith" for more posts. It is an honor to be added to your blogroll. Thanks.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

claudia,
Thanks for the kind words. These songs are the spiritual equivalent of my Theme Songs. They do mean a lot to me. *embarassed* but I too don't remember all the words. Growing old.

ecd,
The process of finding my faith was not a smooth one either but in retrospect i realise it was because I was struggling against surrendering to God. I now believe that God is not distant. The Bible tells us that He has cared for man since the creation and even through the fall of man. God wants us in fellowship with Him. Jesus came with the specific purpose of dying for us so that we can hear that message and have a way of returning to God through him.

Brother, if you are searching, please consider just praying to God and read the story of Jesus with an open heart. God has already written a love letter to you. (Gospel of Mark, is a good and yet short). May you find God's peace which is beyond all understanding.

jocelyn,
Thanks but I have to confess that i could have done a Top 5. LoL. Some songs/hymns become more important as I journey through life. I think that's natural, no?

Molly said...

That is a lovely hymn.....

Janice Thomson said...

Ivan;
Nice to meet you...and I sure hope your freezer is working now...

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