I never thought I would live to be this old.
All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die. I wish they had because I‘m an old man now, and believe me; it‘s not easy.
Whoever first said it was right: old age is not for sissies…
I will soon celebrate my 93rd birthday, and I know it won‘t be long before God calls me home to heaven. More than ever I look forward to that day—not just because of the wonders I know heaven holds in store for me and for every believer but because I know that finally all the burdens and sorrows that press down upon me at this stage of my life will be over. During the last year the physical ailments common to old age really have taken their toll on me. I also look forward to that day because I will be reunited with Ruth, my beloved wife and best friend for almost 64 years, who went home in 2007 to be with the Lord she loved and served so faithfully. Although I rejoice that her struggles with weakness and pain have all come to an end, I still feel as if a part of me has been ripped out, and I miss her far more than I ever could have imagined.
No, old age is not for sissies.
But that isn‘t the whole story, nor did God intend for it to be. While the Bible doesn‘t gloss over the problems we face as we grow older, neither does it paint old age as a time to be despised or a burden to be endured with gritted teeth (if we still have any). Nor does it picture us as useless and ineffective, condemned to spend our last days in endless boredom or meaningless activity until God finally takes us home.
Instead the Bible says that God has a reason for keeping us here; if He didn‘t, He would take us to heaven far sooner. But what is His purpose for these years, and how can we align our lives with it? How can we not only learn to cope with the fears and struggles and growing limitations we face but also actually grow stronger inwardly in the midst of these difficulties? How can we face the future with hope instead of despair? These are some of the questions I have been forced to deal with as I have grown older; perhaps the same is true of you as well.
This book, however, isn‘t written just for old people. It is written for people at every stage of life—even those who never have thought much about growing older. The reason is simple: the best way to meet the challenges of old age is to prepare for them now, before they arrive. I invite you to explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment—and even joy—that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God‘s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day.
Excerpt from NEARING HOME by Billy Graham. Copyright ©2011 by William F. Graham Jr.. Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.
In Nearing Home, Billy Graham takes up his pen to share his personal experience of growing older and to teach us some important lessons on how to view our time here on Earth.
What is God’s purpose for these years, and how can we align our lives with it? Billy tells us that the Bible makes it clear God has specific reasons for keeping us here and covers the importance of four key areas: building strong foundations and understanding the gift of years; facing life’s transitions, including the passing of years, retirement and when loved ones die; making wise decisions; understanding our glorious hope.
In what may be his most powerful message of the last decade, Billy Graham speaks to all on this side of Heaven—and points the way home.
Large Print Hardcover Book : 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc. ( October 18, 2011 )
Item #: 13-499464
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.76inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)