I had an unbelievable day yesterday. I cannot adequately fathom or describe the incredible outpouring of the Spirit of God upon my life, the Billy Graham Library, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that all came to overflowing in a period of about 12 hours.
In the midst of praising God for opening my eyes to see and clearing away the mist of oblivion, I actually began to pray that the Lord would not incapacitate me with Himself. He is so incomprehensible. I was overwhelmed to the point of praying that He would strengthen me to be able to handle more of Him without breaking.
“Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36
Do you ever feel like you know God? Like you understand? Like you’ve got your relationship with Him under control? I know I do, but this is an illusion. God is so much greater than we are – we only fathom a single breath, but He is the wind of the universe.
Days like the one I had yesterday renew this perspective. They are the highlighted lines in the book. They are treasures, jewels of God’s blessing, when He opens the floodgates of heaven.
My morning started when my alarm blared at 5:30. I was exhausted. In fact, I still am, but it doesn’t even seem to matter now. I spent a (very) few quiet minutes with God before leaving the house at 6:45 to meet a lady I work with and carpool for the hour-ish commute. Things started on a high note when she treated us both to Starbucks. I had no idea how much better my day would get than simple caffeine and sugar.
At BGEA, we start each morning with devotions and prayer time together. I prayed with a girl I work with who is struggling with a myriad of health problems. I could feel her weariness of the fight as I prayed for God to make her new.
After devotions, I had a meeting with a BGEA copy writer to shadow her and learn about her career in writing. She showed and taught me so many invaluable things, and she introduced me to some of the people in the BGEA writing department. So here I am, almost 11:00am and wondering how my day could be any better.
At 11:00, all of the BGEA interns were given the privilege of meeting Cliff and Ann Barrows. Mr. Barrows met Mr. Graham in 1945 and he and George Beverly Shea were music program directors for the crusade ministry. Their team did 417 crusades in all 50 states and 185 countries over 58 years. They shared the Gospel with 215 million people in live audiences. Mr. Barrows also announces “The Hour of Decision” a Billy Graham radio program that has aired every week for the last 65 years. He is 92 years old.
When I met Mr. Barrows, he took my hand and I introduced myself as Emily. He promptly started singing: “Emily my darling, Emily my joy”. The Spirit of God just seemed to ooze out of him. Everything he said was filled with such wisdom, scripture, and poetry. We got to spend almost an hour and a half just listening to him. He told us the key to life is hiding God’s Word in your heart.
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22
As we were leaving, Mr. Barrows stopped us and said: “Live for the King and be a blessing.” By now, you’re probably thinking this is near the end of the story. After an unbelievable morning, how could anything better happen than meeting such a man of God? Well. Just wait.
I got back to my office at the Library and was slightly bummed that now it was time to do some normal work. I got all my stuff ready and was just about to go sit outside with my laptop when I felt like I should stop and talk to my boss for a moment. I asked her if they had prayed for the girl I was with in devotions because on Wednesday she had said she wanted us to spend some time in prayer for her. My boss said they had not because some things came up, and they wanted to wait for me. Suddenly, a man stuck his head in the office.
My boss introduced us and told me he is a BGEA chaplain. We talked for several minutes and he told us stories of the miraculous work of God he has seen just in the last few weeks. I can’t go into his stories here, but this should give you an idea: he said, “The book of Acts is the only book of the Bible with no conclusion, and it’s because we’re seeing it now!”
About this time, the girl we had been talking about praying for came in the office with a question for our boss. As soon as she walked in the room, each of us felt strong direction from God to pray for her, right then. We came around her and all began to pray. I simply prayed the name of Jesus over her again and again. The chaplain prayed for healing for her body, for freedom from spiritual oppression, and that the spirit of Jesus would fill her, leaving no room for darkness.
“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:15-16
We continued for some time, blessing her with the promises of God in His Word. The presence of God was so strong in the room and in us at this point that I wondered how much more we could possibly experience. All of us were crying. All of us were shaking. The girl we prayed for declared she felt lighter than ever before. She is supposed to see her doctor over the holiday weekend. No matter the physical outcome, I know Jesus set her free from spiritual injury and confinement.
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3
One cannot just go back to normal life after such an experience from the hand of God. My boss, the other people I work with, the chaplain, and I stood around for some time praising Jesus, sharing our feelings, and continuing to pray for each other. There are so many other staggering details I want to share! I feel as if I lived more in a single day than I have for weeks or even months before this. God is still a God of power. God is still a God of miracles. God is still a God we can see. God still opens our eyes and shows us the heavens.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:18-21