Hello Friends, blessings! I hope you have been well.
Image credit: Instagram / Franklin Graham
This past Friday, Rev. Billy Graham was laid to rest beside his beloved wife Ruth at the Billy Graham Library. A repeating theme during the time his life was remembered and celebrated is that almost everyone has a “Billy Graham” story! Here’s mine:
In my last 4 years of high school (over here, the first year would be considered middle school), I went to large private school where it has a huge two-story library. I belonged to the Library Club where the students from time to time had to work at the library. One day I was assigned to dust and re-arrange some books at one of the bottom shelves of a bookcase where virtually few perused. And it was there I found a rather old and dusty book by a man named Billy Graham. I didn’t know a thing about the man, and I actually don’t remember the title. It would be either “Heaven” or “Peace with God”. I tend to think it’s the latter. Nonetheless, I vividly remember being riveted to the pages of the book, and I spent many days pondering on teachings in the book after I read it. For a Christian teenager in a non-Christian environment, Rev. Graham’s book encouraged me greatly. And that encouragement saw me through the rest of my schooling years until I came to America.
Years later, I found myself working at a small Christian library when I was in college. While pilfering through books in the library, this time I came across books written by Rev. Graham’s wife Ruth! I loved Mrs. Garaham’s books, and read most, if not all, of her books while in college. Mrs. Graham’s “It’s My Turn” is one of my all-time favorites. Having never met her, I was struck by the warmth, compassion and honesty communicated through the pages. And as with many, Mrs. Graham instantly became my lifelong role model.
The crazy thing is that I knew Rev. Billy Graham spoke to many, but I never quite appreciated just how far-reaching his lifelong ministry was until after the numbers started surfacing in the news upon his passing. What a life and journey — used for God and His glory!
“Some day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you 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.” — Rev. Billy Graham
It was a few days before Rev. Billy Graham changed his address, I started listening to his sermons from the late 40’s and 50’s. I remember telling my husband how struck I was to see how seriously Mr. Graham took the message he sought to share with the world with the rapid fire pleas for people to be reconciled to God.
I have been following closely the historic remembrance of Rev. Graham’s life the last 10 days or so, and my own faith has been greatly encouraged and inspired. I have also been able to introduce to Miss Baby a man God used in my life, and now in her life.
My “Billy Graham story” isn’t a dramatic one, but it was one that sustains the simple faith of a teenage girl through the years. I am immensely thankful to God for the life of Rev. Billy Graham. It’s been incredible to watch even in his death, God is using the remembrance of his life to share the message of love and hope in Christ.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Rev. Franklin Graham’s tribute to his father, it’s worth a read — click here.
Do you have a Billy Graham story? Please feel free to share.