“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” This is a quote from the late Billy Graham who passed away just yesterday. There are so many wise things that he’s said over the course of his life but this one speaks to me personally on so many levels. I admire his courage. He was an ordinary many who simply used his life to do what God has commanded us all as believers to do – in our own way.
So many hearts were saddened by the news and you might have heard rejoicing on other ends. Why is that? Because as Christians, we know with every ounce of assurance that there is something eternally better and lasting than this current life. There is absolutely no doubt about it. “Living means living for Christ, and dying is even better” (Philippians 1:21). Better yet, I love how The Message translates it: “Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.”
Billy’s life was lived famously for Jesus; but his death was even more so a victory. My first thought upon hearing the news of his passing was absolute delight as I replayed scenes in my mind of him facing Jesus for the first time and hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Wow! THAT just took place! To face Jesus and be embraced by Him…purest joy! What a party in heaven!
My second thought was, ” I have also been entrusted with a life and the message of truth. Am I being faithful with this life and message everyday?” We might not all be called to be evangelists but we were all given the same message to the reason for the hope that we have! We all come across hungry and hurting souls in our day-to-day lives. Are you called to be hairstylist? Who is it that’s sitting in your chair? Are you a waitress or barista? How many unhappy or lonely people are you crossing paths with? Are you called to be a nanny or a teacher? Could that child in front of you be the next Billy Graham?
I watched a Today Show clip of Kathy Lee Gifford’s reaction to Billy Graham’s death and it was a beautiful reminder of this treasure of a good news that we have as believers and the need to share it! “Jesus: The cure for the malignancy of the soul.” – That’s how Kathie Lee put it best.
If you’re like me you may have sometimes felt that sharing the message of Jesus would be too difficult or complicated for others to understand or even accept. What if it really is as simple as reaching someone at the core of where they need it most? God has given every single one of us a platform, an area of influence where we can share this wonderful news. What’s yours? How are you sharing your light? How can we courageously start doing that this very day?
“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)