"Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, and I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation" (Ps. 91:14-16).
Today, Nov. 7, 2017, my father turns 99 years of age. And thus he enters into his 100th year. I think I can speak for my entire family when I say we are all amazed ... and very thankful ... that he is still with us. My mother moved to heaven, the place Jesus called our Father's house, 10 years ago. And I, for one, never imagined Daddy would continue to live without her, much less outlive her for such a lengthy period of time. What a treasure it has been to have these last 10 years to enjoy his presence that has always included his humor, his prayers, his insights, his stories, his encouragement and his love.
But Daddy has grown very quiet in the last few months. It's as though after years of preaching the gospel, he has nothing more to add to what he has repeatedly stated more times than can be counted: "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. I will set him on high, because he has known My name. ... For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 14:6, 3:16).
The life and message of Billy Graham are so entwined with that simple gospel message, they cannot be unwound. My prayer on this, his 99th birthday, is that in the silence I will hear my own voice in a chorus of dozens ... hundreds ... thousands ... millions of other voices picking up the message and proclaiming it without compromise to a world that desperately needs to know the hope of everlasting life by coming to the Father through faith in His Son.
I can't think of a more meaningful way to celebrate Daddy's birthday than by sharing the gospel with someone else! Join me in the celebration:
Happy Birthday, Daddy!
From All of Us
The video is my all-time favorite version of a hymn that was written as a beautiful tribute to Daddy. Make sure you listen to it all the way through.
Anne Graham Lotz, second child of Billy and Ruth Graham, is the founder of AnGeL Ministries and chairman for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. She has authored 15 books, including her latest, The Daniel Prayer.
This article originally appeared at annegrahamlotz.org.
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