Charlotte Elliot of Brighton, England was a tortured soul, and consequently, she tortured others. She thought her broken health and constant disabilities justified her bitterness to family and her hatred of God.
But little did Charlotte know that God would use her illness to reach millions of people with His love.
Charlotte was fond of saying, “If God loved me, He would not have treated me this way.” Reaching their wits’ end, Charlotte’s family finally contacted Swiss minister, Dr. Cesar Malan, and asked him to visit with her. On May 9, 1822, Dr. Malan had dinner with the Elliots, but during the meal, Charlotte lost her temper – again – and railed against God and family in a violent outburst. Her family members were so embarrassed they excused themselves and left Dr. Malan alone with her in the dining room.
“You are tired of yourself, aren’t you?” asked the pastor. “You are holding to your hate and anger because you have nothing else in the world to cling to. Consequently, you have become sour, bitter, and resentful.”
“What is your cure?” quipped Charlotte.
“The faith you are trying to despise,” answered Dr. Malan.
As they continued to talk, Charlotte softened a bit. Eventually, she asked, “If I wanted to become a Christian and to share the peace and joy you possess, what would I do?”
“Give yourself to God just as you are now, with your fightings and fears, hates and loves, pride and shame.”
“I would come to God just as I am? Is that right?” asked an incredulous Charlotte. But at the close of that conversation, Charlotte did turn to Jesus, just as she was, and her heart was changed that very day.
Though she never enjoyed good health, Charlotte lived to be 82-years-old. In her lifetime, she studied God’s Word and wrote hymns. When she read Jesus’ promise in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away,” it reminded the transformed woman of her own testimony. So she put pen to paper and wrote the most famous of her 150 hymns:
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!
It relieves the soul to know that we can go to Jesus just as we are. In fact, there is no other way!
Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003, Pages 112-113.
Topics Illustrated Include:
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)