ON CHRIS­TIAN­ITY

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - bil­ly­gra­ham.org BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: God has given me a good life, but now I’m old and crip­pled and in poor health. I feel so use­less, and I just wish God would take me to Heaven. Would it be wrong for me to pray this way?

— S.J. DEAR S.J.: If we never look for­ward to the next world or yearn to go to Heaven, it means we have become too strongly at­tached to this world. The Apos­tle Paul de­clared, “I de­sire to de­part and be with Christ, which is bet­ter by far” (Philip­pi­ans 1:23).

As long as God gives us life, He has a pur­pose in keep­ing us here. Your life is not fin­ished un­til God says it’s fin­ished. No, you may not be able to do all the things you once did; nei­ther can I. But God can still use you just as much as He ever did, even if it’s not in ex­actly the same way. For ex­am­ple, you now have time to pray for oth­ers in ways you may never have been able to do be­fore. You will never know this side of eter­nity what ef­fect these prayers have — but God’s work goes forth on the prayers of God’s peo­ple. The Bible says, “The prayer of a right­eous per­son is pow­er­ful and ef­fec­tive” (James 5:16).

You also can be an en­cour­age­ment to those around you. I note from your let­ter that you are now in a nurs­ing home, and all around you are peo­ple who may be lonely and discouraged. Ask God to use you to en­cour­age them and point them to the hope we have be­cause of Christ.

Most of all, thank God for the prom­ise we have of Heaven be­cause of Christ. Is your hope and trust in Him? Re­mem­ber: “What is seen is tem­po­rary, but what is un­seen is eter­nal” (2 Corinthi­ans 4:18).

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