Saturday, I left with Stacey and the children and headed toward Boone, NC, to spend a few days of their week-long mountain vacation. Daddy and Mike came up later in the day. Things got off to a rough start. The kiddos weren’t in the best of moods. Stacey said she had just read this saying, “You can tell you are a mom if a trip alone to Target is like a vacation and a family vacation is like work.” If you are a mom of small children, then you definitely get this!!!
Amongst our many adventures was breakfast on Sunday morning at the Daniel Boone Restaurant and a hayride with storytelling at the Altapass Orchards. We also enjoyed a trip to the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. (I think I spelled that right.) We ate pulled pork sandwiches at another old store where they had two folks playing mountain music. It was a good time for all of us, four generations together.
As much as I enjoyed the time with my family, my favorite part of the trip was yesterday. Daddy and I left Boone and went to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. I have wanted to go there for a long, long time. It was such a beautiful place. The grounds were magnificently manicured and everyone was so kind and friendly. As you can see in this picture, the entrance is through a huge cross.
They made it very clear from the beginning of the visit that their purpose is to glorify God through Jesus Christ and not to glorify the man Billy Graham. I think they did a great job with that. If you don’t want to have a personal relationship with Christ, then I recommend that you NOT go there. I was so moved! To see how God took a regular guy, a young man raised on a dairy farm, and has taken him all over the world into the most remote areas and yet, into the highest of the highest palaces, just proves what an awesome God we serve. Billy Graham could not have done what he has done in his own strength. I’m not even sure he would have wanted to.
God brought Ruth Bell to Wheaton College from China where her family were missionaries and caused her path to cross his. She was the wife God ordained for Billy Graham. A comment was made in one of the videos we saw that said she was the only woman who could have filled that position. Maybe to you, their life has looked glamorous, but it wasn’t. As a family, there was much sacrifice, especially of time together. Mrs. Graham had the responsibility of rearing their children alone for the most part.
Romans 8:28 says that God causes all things to work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose. God has a purpose for each believer’s life. Billy Graham’s purpose was as an evangelist called to preach the Gospel all over the world. Ruth Bell Graham’s purpose was to be his partner in this mighty endeavor. In response to the question of who was the greatest Christian he had ever met, Mr. Graham said his wife was. What a compliment!!! She might have been in Montreat rearing their children and writing books, but she was fulfilling her purpose, just as he was.
Do you ever feel like you haven’t found your purpose? I do. Especially now that I am widowed. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t wonder what God is doing in my life. Why did He take Les home at 59 and leave me here without a spouse? What am I supposed to do with the rest of my days here? I so want to be “about my Father’s business” and yet I’m not sure what that is at this stage in my life.
Sometimes I think we are so wrapped up in ourselves that we don’t even stop to realize how little we are doing for the kingdom of God. How much of what we do will stop with our last breath? How much will go with us into eternity? It is only “kingdom” work that is eternal.
Purpose. It’s not about who has the biggest house or car or income. It’s about loving as Jesus loves. It’s about caring enough to share God’s love with others. (God loved us enough to give His only Son as our ransom.) Finding our purpose may mean giving up some of those things. It may mean stepping way outside our comfort zone. It may mean something we never imagined ourselves doing. I don’t know what your God-given purpose is, but I know none of us will ever live the abundant and fulfilling life we’re meant to live as believers until we find it.
My prayer as I walked through the library yesterday was for God to reveal Himself to me and His purpose for me. I hope that is also your prayer.
Lots of love, Sharon