I knew Jesus when I was very young, just five years old. I said, “Yes!” when he knocked at the door of my heart; and I invited him in. I began to write poems and songs about Jesus when I was only seven. I remember writing one of them on a brown paper towel, borrowed from white metal dispenser of the chapel’s bathroom. I needed to get the words out; I was in love with my Savior.
In sixth grade, I wound my way down front, through the crowded masses, towards the end of one of Billy Graham’s huge crusades. I already loved Jesus, but I wanted to make sure everyone else knew it too; including Billy Graham. I was already saved, but I felt an urgency to get up close to Billy Graham. I now know that it was really because of my desire to get closer to Jesus. This wise man had said things that helped me to understand I already had a personal relationship with Jesus, and that I could walk with him and talk to him… any time I wanted… and that God would hear me.
I also wanted to make a public proclamation of my faith. I was proud to be a Christian, and I wanted everyone to know that I belonged to the family of God. Soon afterwards, I was baptized by the beloved pastor of my church, a kind and compassionate man of God. He made sure I understood, at age 11, what it meant to be baptized into the Kingdom of God. Years later, he led my husband to Christ right after our engagement, during a session of premarital counseling. My then fiancé, knew about Jesus, but he had never been asked if he wanted to accept Christ, and receive his gift of salvation. I was filled with joy when he said yes. This sweet Pastor also performed our wedding ceremony. He now lives in Heaven, while his lovely wife, and I, remain friends to this day.
After my own baptism, I remember being so happy in my own little world of reading, drawing, and writing poetry and songs about God’s love. I wrote about His creations in nature, and how much Jesus loves us. Nothing had changed in my life, except that I was getting to know more about Jesus, and this was my way of spending time with him. I felt loved.
With Jesus, there was an escape from the sadness, rejection, disapproval and disdain in my home life. Though I struggled with insecurities over trying to please others, and do the right thing; I found joy, peace, and acceptance in the presence of God. I found love. Without Jesus in my life, I would have been completely, and utterly, lost and alone. I poured over children’s bible stories in my room for hours with the door closed. Everything I learned came from the Bible, or what I learned at Sunday School or church. That’s why when I’d heard through my church, that Billy Graham was going to speak, I wanted to hear him!
Much later in life, married with children, God blessed me and my family with another wonderful, wise, and godly pastor. He has a lovely wife also, and I’m blessed to call her my friend. He is a true disciple, who currently leads, loves, and cares for his entire flock. He also counsels others, even those outside of our church family. In fact, he also loves Billy Graham… because Billy Graham loves Jesus.
These three good men were all called by God, and sent by him to share the The Good News. Their words line up with the words of the bible, and they’ve pointed others towards Jesus and his truth.
Do you know someone whose words line up with those of the bible? Does that person care about you, and encourage you in God’s word? Is that person there for you if you need prayer, counseling, or a listening ear? These people are gifts from God. They are the silver lining in the dark sky of your storm. God doesn’t expect you to weather a bad storm all by yourself!
Who has God placed in your life to guide you towards Jesus? Thank God, and say a prayer for that person today. He, or she, has walked in faithful obedience to Christ. Because they know truth, they can help show you the way!
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ ” (John 14:6-7 New International Version).
Billy Graham, these photos all show what the beautiful, happy sky did today, as you entered the gates of Heaven. What a joyful celebration! One day I’ll live there too. I’ll get to see you up close, but best of all; we will both have the closest front row seats at the banquet table with Jesus!
What better way to celebrate Billy Graham’s life, than by sharing an invitation on how to invite Jesus into your life and receive eternal life . Be blessed, and live in victory!