HOLD ON TO JESUS
Billy Graham, my father, lived a remarkable life in the presence of his family and in view of the world. During my childhood, I watched him come and go on one trip or another. Sometimes his absence was for two weeks, two months, or, on occasion, even longer. Yet regardless of the length of the journey, his goodbye was followed by a promise: “I’ll be back.” The assurance was tucked inside the pocket of his overcoat—a round-trip ticket.
My father visited nearly every continent on earth multiple times. But there was one trip he longed to make—a trip out of this world. When he traveled to heaven, he did so with a one-way ticket, purchased more than two thousand years ago with the lifeblood of the Lord Jesus Christ. My father completed a journey that required no baggage—no return ticket. His destiny was certain.
My father was riveted to a call from God. He was a man who realized his inability and grasped God’s authority. He was convicted by the message God put in his heart and comprehended its power. He understood his calling and set his hands to a heavenly task. He firmly placed both feet on the narrow road and followed the steps of the Lord wherever they led.
In the book of Proverbs, a father says to his son, “Give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways” (Proverbs 23:26 NKJV). I saw through my father’s eyes just what God can do with a life that is surrendered to Him. He taught me to live by observing his ways.
My father had an unusual ability to focus on what was in front of him and not dwell on the past. He drew strength from knowing God would guide him along his journey and help him reach a lost and dying world for Christ. I learned through his eyes the all-important truth that we must hold on to our Anchor—Jesus Christ—through the good times and the bad. I believe this steadfastness of my earthly father found favor in the eyes of the heavenly Father because God granted him more than seventy years in His service.
The foundational message my father preached was based on John 14:6, where Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (NKJV). This verse became a banner for his meetings, stretched across the platform in bigger-than-life letters. And he never wavered from this singular message. There were many times my father struggled to understand God’s truth, but the outcome was always the same: he learned to depend on God’s Word. Until the day he died, my father held tight to the claims of Christ.
I learned many things in my own ministry through the years by observing my father. I have drawn from his example and learned important lessons on how to handle the good that comes my way—and even, at times, the snares. Christians, likewise, follow their Father in heaven by obedience and absolute faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God. This is our road map to living life in His name.
Who in your life has been a mentor or role model for how to follow Jesus? What are some lessons you have learned from this person?
What does it mean to surrender your will to God? What does God do when you surrender your life to Him?
What are some ways you have made Jesus the anchor of your life?