by Heather Tietz
He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Charlotte Elliott was a talented artist, a humorous poet and a carefree youth. But when she contracted an illness at age thirty, her health began to fail. She lay in bed with crippling fatigue. Three years later, when her body had not recovered and she was despondent, an evangelist visited her home. He counseled her out from her depression and into Jesus’ arms. She gave what strength she had left to God.
God put strength into her pen. Charlotte Elliott wrote songs for God, approximately 150 of them throughout her life. One particular hymn she penned in order to raise funds for a school for poor clergymen’s daughters. Her song, “Just as I Am”, raised more walls of the school than all the other fundraising efforts combined. Today, it is one of the most known, most loved songs in the Church.
Charlotte confessed, “He knows, and He alone, what it is, day after day, hour after hour, to fight against bodily feelings of almost overpowering weakness, languor and exhaustion, to resolve not to yield to slothfulness, depression and instability… but to rise every morning determined to take for my motto, ‘if a man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” Charlotte never did regain her physical strength. She lay in bed for nearly fifty years. But her spirit grew stronger and in her weakness others found Jesus.