Which times do you think are the most revealing days of your lives? I hope you will not tell me they are those that allowed you comfort or easy living. I don’t either believe you would say those challenging events when more of you were demanded. Then which days?For many it may be the days of relief when all climaxing worries received their vents in certain eureka such as when the dream of success was realized. But is that all? Is life all about success? I don’t think so. In the final analysis what counts is the worth of your achievement in the eyes of time, the great tester.
For me the greatest revelation of life in time is the intensity and quality of service you released to your fellow men. It is the degree to which you translated your love of God to your neighbor. Let me recount the enormity of this truth that challenged me in one man.
I was overwhelmed by emotions as I watched a live coverage of the dedication of the Billy Graham Library on 4th June 2007. Such a true “icon of Christianity” was being honored by as high dignitaries as three former US presidents and around 1500 guests. The atmosphere was filled as you can see by the awe of the message and subject of Billy Graham’s ministry.
"Billy Graham—the man, the preacher, the humble farmer's son who helped change the world, is a spiritual gift to all of us," said former US President George H. W. Bush.(www.bgea.org/News ) One can tell the emotional charge of the event looking at this longtime friend of Graham sob while presenting keynote address.
It is believed that Pope John Paul II and the Rev. Billy Graham are the 20th century’s most influential Christian leaders in the world. I think they have in common they served with God’s loving heart to the greatest majority of mankind ever. Trusting the Lord has really not left them as they swept the world with the message of the cross.
It really is as we enter deep into meditating God’s greatness that we find ourselves as God intended us to be. If you are suffering diverse situations, better to enter into the divine magnificence of God and stay in his presence. If you are pressed by the injustice and immorality of this world, better to adore the King and present oneself for service like Isaiah of old. If you are sad and having emotional mediocrity, better sing a hymn of adoration for Jesus and witness him charge the atmosphere of doubt and despair. How great He is!
I began the day before in an island of loneliness and routine when things looked far off from my awareness of the purpose of life and living. Reality seemed to me so harsh that I couldn’t penetrate the sturdy bronze sky above me. Love with all its meaning seemed to have gave me up in a suspended dream where I seemed to never wake up. In my tension I sought for relief in otherwise meaningless TV movies. At least as I used to think media was just there for propaganda purposes.
As I browsed the channels, I came across the TBN and there before my eye I witnessed the great preacher reach his glory phase of spiritual leadership. It was a lifting moment even for me far away from the Charlotte facility. Sometimes you get inspiration by just looking at graceful men of God. You say “and there is this in the world”, that may be why the angels say “the whole earth is filled with His glory”.
Climaxing the event, I think was the singing of the great hymn “How Great Thou Art”. It stayed with me the whole day at my work place. And the emotion couldn’t leave me that I had to begin writing this page.
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
runs the first verse of the hymn written by Carl Boberg, as he sensed the magnificence of God in the heavens. He was immersed in the awe of the scene before his eyes and breaks out his words,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:
The choir hits the air with great voice as if to resemble the outburst of the thunderstorm. But there must be something in the words and voice of the choir when uttering the chorus
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
As I watched this hymn sung by the congregation honoring Billy Graham, my spirit was lifted up that all the stress and ill thoughts left like a winding cloud. I was immersed in the beauty of the chorus. It really emotionally captures one’s whole person redirecting all attention towards the Lord’s majestic greatness. You can not but weep as you adore your savior King.
This same awe Elihu was telling Job as he defended the Almighty. He said,
“God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him,
or said to him, 'You have done wrong'?
Remember to extol his work,
which men have praised in song.
All mankind has seen it;
men gaze on it from afar.
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.”
I think this passage must be the inspiration behind Boberg’s penning the magnificent hymn besides the thunderstorm. It calls one to divert one’s attention and take a glimpse of the creative Genius, no, it is more; it is the lofty mind of God. As you enter into his presence the sense of yourself seems to be so insignificant that joy and awe overtake and God is all in all to you. Of course you don’t lose yourself, like in the Buddhist belief; you find it in a more meaningful way, in the sense of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The message is you shouldn’t be blinded by the evil around as to forget the beauty of life God created. All the roaring storms of life are far less than one touch of divine providence. Just a glimpse of God’s grace, like that of the Mount of transfiguration and it is enough. I think Peter is right to say "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (Matthew 17:4)
What a majestic God must our Lord be who inspires millions through farm grown men like Billy Graham armed with words and hymns such as this. The vocalist George Beverly Shea is now as old as Graham but could still sing this hymn so magnificently that it touched the depth of my heart. His voice seems to charge the breath you breathe with deep emotion. No wonder this and the fiery sermons of Graham hammered Jesus’ love into millions of hearts around the world.
May I say then this is the greatest revelation of one’s life time. The real person God intended you to be. After all you can never ever be satisfied with anything in the world than the maximum service you give to your fellow men in the right motive. That right motive is as being commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Isn’t that my King’s beauty
When the light shines past all darkness
Allowing creatures feed on the bounty
The riches of grace in all gladness
When the shadows vanish
Giving room to the skies’ brilliance
Heaven reflects glory beyond clouds
Such spectacle awesome radiance
Isn’t that my King’s greatness
When amid all the gloom
That the world seems to harness
Grace visits though yet unwelcome
The echo of wisdom is ever louder
For not full is the space yet
The lovely mansion where we gather
When all is gone nothing left
Isn’t that my King’s beauty
That shines in the twinkle of moon and star
The majesty of the night jewels
When darkness fails short to capture
One glimpse of the divine grace
The smile of Jesus a flash of his face
And assured is victory in life’s lofty race
As we gather in Mansion of love, God’s embrace
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