It has been, in my ministry experience, the single most humbling experience of my lifetime. I never have gotten over it, and I never will. Every week when I walk into his home and kiss him on the cheek, and when we hug together, I feel as though the Lord is placing me on the top of Mount Sinai where He speaks.
It is so profound in my own heart, the humility of this man and the radiant presence of the Lord Jesus in his life. You can see God in his eyes, and you can hear God speak through him, and yet this man is so humble. World leaders come and seek his presence and his audience all the time, and as I leave his home to come back down the mountain, I feel as though I’m crawling. I simply pray, “Lord, could it be possible that You would allow my face too to shine with the glory of God as did Moses?”
I feel so unworthy, yet so humbly privileged and honored. My life has been blessed by this. God has used Graham to cause me to examine my own heart before the Lord numerous times and realize just how far away I am, how much more I have to do, and how unworthy I am to be asked by God to preach and proclaim the Word.
It’s through Graham that I think I have learned so much more about the power of God. I’ve learned so much more about how to love my people, really love my people. I wish I could take back some of the arrogance and attitude of my early ministry, when I actually, genuinely thought I was somebody. There have been times when I was so critical of others and condemning. Mr. Graham has taught me deep, deep truths.
He has removed from me any desire for office, position or getting to the top of whatever it is we’re supposed to be getting to the top of, because it doesn’t matter. It’s not important. It has no place in the economy of God except by God’s hand. If God chooses to bless someone, He’ll do it, and that is Graham’s life and legacy: God chose to bless him, period.
He has taught me self-discipline as no one else has. I have studied long and hard academically, but without Graham, I couldn’t have understood spiritual self-discipline, not to the point that my encounters with the Lord Jesus on a daily basis now are at such a deep level than they ever were before. As a result, I feel God’s presence far more greatly than ever before.
I thank God for Dr. Graham. He is a precious man. Most people, the closer you get to them, the more you realize they have clay feet. The opposite has happened in my life with Dr. Billy Graham. The closer I’ve gotten to him—to the point at which today he and I are the very best of friends—we have the single closest relationship any two people could have. I listen and talk with him about the internal, deep details about a man’s life. Yet, the deeper we go, the more I realize God birthed this man, gave him life in Christ, called him to be a preacher and evangelist and placed His omnipotent hand on His servant. Only God can do that, and what an honored and cherished blessing it is to know a man of that caliber.