As a little girl, I used to preach to my stuffed animals.
I would line them up and then passionately preach the Good News of Jesus to them, just like Billy Graham. As a shy girl who loved Jesus, I was fascinated by the dynamic man who taught the Bible to thousands. As a teenager, I attended one of Billy’s crusades. And whenever anyone would ask the question “what person, alive or dead, would you want to have dinner with” I would always say, “Billy Graham.”
Maybe it was the secret evangelist in me who longed to step into the light and boldly share my faith. Or maybe it was me simply wanting to be near someone who was so near to God. Or maybe it was his humility and simple upbringing that made this friend of world leaders somehow seem approachable.
I find myself reflecting on all of this today. This day when Billy breathed his last on this earth and opened his eyes to the Home he has spent a lifetime leading people towards.
And I grieve. I cry. I mourn our loss.
But then I realized that even in his death, Billy is pointing us to hope. Pointing us to truth. Pointing us toward Home.
In a time when our country is heartbroken, when the darkness seems too strong and hope seems like a fantasy, Billy’s life stands as a beacon for hope, for light. Today his message is being broadcast on every news station. His words, the words God ordained him to speak during his lifetime, are once again going forth among the nations.
Only God could bring life from death.
Today, someone is going to hear Billy’s message replayed on their tv.
Today, someone is going to hear the message of hope.
Today, someone is going to fall to their knees and surrender their life to God.
Today, someone will begin their eternity with Jesus.
Today, life will come from death.
And that is the power of the Gospel. The Gospel Billy Graham gave his life to preach.
What if today, as a way to honor the man who dedicated his life to sharing the Gospel, every single one of us who claims the name of Jesus, shared the hope of the Gospel with just one person. What a final Billy Graham crusade that would be!!!
Thank you Billy for always leading us to truth and always pointing us to hope. And now, even in death, you are still pointing people to truth and hope. You reflected the heart of the Father and now you are in His arms. And yet your message, God’s message, will remain. Continually pointing people to Jesus.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” I Thessalonians 4:13-14