Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nearing Home by Billy Graham

Billy Graham, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well. Thomas Nelson, 2011. 182 pages.

Billy Graham is known as a world-famous author, preacher, and evangelist. He is now over ninety-two years old. He never thought he would live this long. Now that he has stepped down from an active ministry around the world, he has had much time to reflect on his life and old age. Graham says that "old age is not for sissies." Graham lost his wife in 2007. This book is not just for old people. Graham states, "This book, isn't written just for old people. It is written for people at every stage of life. . . The best way to meet the challenges of old age is to prepare for them now, before they arrive.

There is much wisdom in that statement. Old age is not the time to prepare for the journey's end. This agrees with what Cicero wrote in his excellent essay, "Old Age." Nearing Home is an excellent book not only teaching how to prepare for old age but how to live for God now. I found the book applicable to my life now even though I am not near old age.

Billy Graham has been a faithful servant to God for many years. He believes that older people can continue being useful for God even in old age. He provides much wisdom on handling the difficulties of old age. In addition, he provides much encouragement for followers of Christ in every stage of life.

In chapter one Graham speaks of "aging gracefully." He shares examples of biblical characters who were used by God in old age. For example, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and others served God faithfully when they were older. Though we might retire from a job, Graham counsels us not to "retire from life" in chapter two. Graham notes, "Retirement should not put us on the shelf. We should use this time in our lives to rest from our labors but lift up others who are carrying heavy loads" (28). Ben Witherington says retirement is not mentioned in the Bible. We do not retire from serving God.

Nearing Home is a well-written book. Christians can learn much wisdom from Christians who have followed the Lord for many years. I recommend this book to both the young and the old. Wveryone who reads this book will be encouraged to follow Christ faithfully. 

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