For quite some time...(about 20 or so years...) I have dreaded the day that the news would announce that Billy Graham had died.
That day happened on Wednesday (February 21) this past week.
While my heart soared with joy in knowing he was in the presence of the Lord (... & what a rejoicing & welcoming that must have been!!) - I was & am still so saddened that we are now without his presence here on earth.
You see, Billy Graham is one of those incredibly rare people who always pointed to God's love & the saving grace through Jesus Christ. Even though he was acquainted with world leaders, presidents, kings, he was incredibly humble & never wanted attention to be placed on himself. It was always about God's love & how through Jesus Christ, we can know we will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
He did it so clearly, so directly, but with such love & humility.
He didn't preach 'religion', he preached the good news of the Gospel.
God chose this farm boy from North Carolina for a worldwide ministry, (...don't you love how God so often chooses ones who the world would probably never choose?) & Billy simply chose to follow wherever God led.
...and what an incredible, amazing way the world was changed because of Billy's dedication.
As I have grown in my faith, I take that to heart, & admire, the example that Rev. Graham's life & ministry & simple humility, in my own life.
In this present day, & the ordeals we see our nation & world living though, it pains me to think that we are now without this precious man to keep us pointed to what really matters... the message of the Gospel & of God's love & the way he has provided a way to save us through His Son, Jesus Christ, to fill the void we each have in our own soul. It can only be filled with the love that Christ gives.
So while I am sad for this world without Billy Graham, at the same time I am so happy for his arrival in heaven, where I am certain He was welcomed in the presence of God with the words, "Well done good & faithful servant..." (Matt. 25:21)
One of Billy's statements in his later years that had helped my heart smile this week is this one...
"Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead.
Don't believe a word of it.
I shall be more alive than I am now.
I will just have changed my address.
I will have gone into the presence of God"
Thank you God for Billy Graham.
(If you would like more information you can find it here,
or at www.billygraham.org)
'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16