Today, the news about the passing of evangelist Billy Graham became public. I remember some of his ministry career. I also remember that he brought his crusades to Portland twice. But there is another side of Billy Graham that I want to remember.
Billy Graham was an ordinary man in many respects. His daughter Anne Graham Lotz said, “I think of my daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap.” Billy Graham, the greatest evangelist of the twentieth century, was an ordinary man.
But there was something that made him different. God took an ordinary man, gave him a lifelong calling, gave him a passion for those who needed Jesus, and equipped him to fulfill God’s plan. I guess you could say that God took an ordinary man and made him extraordinary.
I’m reminded that this process wasn’t just for Billy Graham, it is for all of us. The reality is: God takes ordinary people and makes them extraordinary. This isn’t because we are better than others. It’s because He has called us and destined us to be great in His kingdom. You may say, “I’m no Billy Graham.” That’s absolutely true. But you have the same God DNA that he had. He was a child of God, you are a child of God. He had a specific calling from God, you have a specific calling from God. He had faith to complete the mission God had given him, you will have the faith to complete your mission.
Today we honor a man who was a living testament of God’s love and grace. Each of us should embrace the fact that we are called to be the same. One great evangelist, pastor and prophet has passed away and a new season is here. God is calling us, ordinary people, to be extraordinary.