I Blog For Books

31 January 2009

Just As I Am

In keeping with the spirit of celebrating each and every day, I'd like to take a moment to wish Desiree a happy birthday! Today's topic, however, isn't about Desiree's birthday, but something that has become less and less important as I grow older (much older than Desiree, but that is a whole 'nother subject!). Almost every morning, usually right after I wake up, I see myself in the mirror. Not by conscious choice, you understand, but largely in part due to the person who decided that every residential bathroom must have a huge mirror over the sink, which is usually in a direct line of sight of the door. (written 9 Jan 2008)

I am who I am. For whatever reason, the DNA that combined to make me stated that I would be this tall and have brown hair and blue eyes. (I don't think my excess pounds have anything to do with DNA but a whole bunch to do with LAY'S.) In my younger years, I stressed far more over what I see in the mirror than I do now. Don't misunderstand me, I want to look professional and neat, but I'm less likely to stress over a bad hair day than I would have been 20 years ago. What interests me far more than a person's outward appearance is the person inside. Think about this: do you spend time with someone because you like the way they look, or because you like the person they are?

Our inner self is of our own making. The most beautiful exterior in the world cannot disguise forever an ugly soul. What makes a person beautiful? As has been often said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I deem beautiful may not be attractive to you, and vice versa. What most people do agree on, however, is the genuine beauty of the loving spirit. When I think of a beautiful person, I have a long list of people whose names I would add. They may or may not ever make the magazine covers, but they are beautiful inside and that shines through to the outside. When what is inside you is beautiful, it will reflect on your external appearance.

One last thought on beauty: it does not mean perfection! Jesus was the only perfect person, and He doesn't expect us to be perfect. What He wants is for us to recognize that with Him, we can become the most beautiful creatures ever. Trusting in Him and allowing Him to guide our lives helps us to shed those dark areas of doubt and fear, and brighten the light that we all carry. In 1835, a young woman named Charlotte Elliott wrote a song titled "Just As I Am" after a conversation with a visiting minister made her question how to find her savior. The minister told her to come "just as you are," and this hymn was born. More than 170 years later, the words still resonate with the simple power of our way to Christ. The lyrics are at the bottom, in case you are not familiar with all the verses.

Jesus, thank you for accepting me "just as I am," for making me realize that you do not expect perfection, just an humble heart and a belief in your power to do anything - including saving my soul. Thank you for allowing me this precious gift.

"Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!" ~Psalm 100:3-4 ESV

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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