Billy Graham just passed away at the ripe age of 99. He was an extraordinarily influential and well-loved evangelist pastor from North Carolina who changed lives and the hearts of millions of people. His attitude, kindness, and ability to deliver a driving message into the minds and hearts of those willing to listen were left with nothing less than a fantastic experience that continued to grow positively in the communities he traveled to.
Not only was he well liked by the ordinary person, but he was also charismatic and thoughtful enough to be considered the counselor or minister to numerous United States Presidents. He’s traveled the world, visiting 185 countries, and pursued his dream of spreading the right word to millions of people across the planet. He’s been quoted and idolized by so many people that only an estimate would be right to guess the numbers of hearts he’s touched with his words.
He finally passed away at 99-years-old and went to meet his maker, leaving a world left in pieces but slowly rebuilding with a greater sense of love, trust, and finding our way. Billy Graham leaves us as one of the most influential evangelist pastors the world might ever see. We don’t get that many great ones, but when we do, they set the bar incredibly high.
NBC News reported more on his passing:
“Graham died just before 8 a.m. at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, surrounded by family, according to a spokesman for Samaritan’s Purse, the nondenominational evangelical Christian organization headed by Graham’s son Franklin.
His following was undeniable: The longtime evangelist appeared on Gallup’s list of the most admired men and women 60 times since 1955 — every year the research company asked the question.
Born William Franklin Graham on Nov. 7, 1918, “America’s pastor” came from modest means and grew up on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. He found his spiritual path at 16, charmed by the traveling minister and temperance movement leader Mordecai Ham. Graham later moved to Florida and was ordained there in 1939.
He met his future wife, Ruth McCue Bell, while they attended Wheaton College, and they married in 1943. Together they would raise five children, and she would become a trusted adviser.
“When it comes to spiritual things, my wife has had the greatest influence on my ministry,” Graham said of Bell, who died in June 2007.”
If you thought that was the last you’d see or hear from Pastor Graham, then you’d be inevitably mistaken. There was a bone-chilling message posted on his Facebook page just hours before he passed away. Graham’s final Facebook post leaves the world thinking deep within themselves for the truth. Billy Graham’s message forces us to be accountable for our actions and find our way to deal with what’s going on in our lives. Thousands of people on Facebook have liked and shared his last message for the world.
It was posted:
“If you went for a walk in the woods, but then decided to wander off the path, and found yourself surrounded by a thicket of thorns and poison ivy, who would you blame? Would you blame the person who built the path? No, of course not. Instead you’d blame yourself if you were honest, because you alone were responsible for wandering from the path.
In a far deeper way, this is what happens when we decide to leave God out of our lives. For a time, it may seem like wandering away from Him doesn’t make any difference; it may even seem easier and freer. But eventually it catches up with us—just as wandering off that path and into the thicket caught up with you.” —Billy Graham #BG100″
While Graham was a man of God, and his message was meant for everyone despite political ideologies, perhaps Democrats should take note, as they are the ones who want to take all thing God out of the public sphere. Which may be the reason we are encountering so many problems in our society, the recent Florida school shooting and the division it is causing as just one example.
People will interpret Graham’s message in more ways than one, finding their own meaning in his last words to the world via social media. Some people won’t listen, and perhaps they’re the people going down that path and into the thicket with the poison ivy. Some people will eliminate the poison ivy and clear a new path. Some will avoid it altogether. But there’s one thing we know for sure, and it’s this – Billy Graham left us with the one message that will make everyone think long and hard about the direction they’re walking.