I was just settling down at my computer to write a blog about Strands of Destiny, when breaking news came through on my computer that the veteran evangelist, Billy Graham, had died, aged 99. Billy Graham was not just “one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century” as he was described by the BBC, but he was, arguably, one of the most influential of all men and women of the twentieth century.
There are hundreds of millions of men and women, probably from all the countries of the world, who owe the fact that their lives were redeemed and put back on a God-honouring course by meeting their Saviour through the ministry of Billy Graham. No-one will ever be able to calculate the extent of the blessing he has been to all those people and the consequences there have been down the generation lines to children, children’s children and beyond.
I was ten years of age when I went with my Dad to hear Billy Graham at Harringay Arena in London in 1954. I was mightily impacted and will never forget how one particular man came to the Lord there through Billy’s ministry. I tell his story in Strands of Destiny. Then, many years later in 1984, I was privileged to be the originator of Mission England Praise (now Mission Praise), the song book for Billy Graham’s Mission England, and be involved in organising the meetings at Liverpool Football Club’s, Anfield Stadium. Those never to be forgotten days were part of my own personal journey of seeing faith in action.
Meeting Billy Graham, and his almost equally well-known song-leader, Cliff Barrows, was an inspirational moment that touched my life. Even though for over thirty years now I have been involved in the healing ministry, I have never forgotten that the primary calling of a Christian is to introduce those who don’t know Jesus, to their Saviour.
This will be a day of great thanksgiving in the hearts of countless people, including my own. There will be hundreds of millions of strands of destiny woven into a tapestry of thanksgiving as Billy meets His Saviour face to face.
I was going to write this blog about reactions to my book, Strands of Destiny, but that will have to wait for another time. Today is a day to thank God for a man who walked in his destiny throughout his days. His obedience to his calling has produced a harvest of extraordinary fruit.
Thanks be to God for the man – but even greater be to God for Billy’s Saviour, who called Billy to Himself when only a teenager and has now called him Home on the brink of his hundredth birthday. What a man – but, Hallelujah! What a Saviour!