I have always admired Billy Graham, and when he released his latest book The Reason For My Hope, I immediately added it to my reading list and have only recently found the space in life to read it.
He has an interesting way of explaining the basics of Christianity, and in this book he pulls in a great deal of external sources that strengthen his personal words (which I really dig). He connects events of today with Hope for when Christ returns.
Graham clearly writes how belief in Jesus has given him peace, even in the midst of a society that is seemingly crumbling around us. He shares his testimony of his own complete belief in God, and how his life has been richer for it.
“Jesus is bigger than life, so when He comes into yours, there is no room for anything that does not glorify Him.”
This strikes me because it begs the question: do I respond, act, and live as if I believe that Jesus if bigger than life? Idolatry in my life, selfishness, and pride would say probably not. But deep down in my soul I would say yes. Giving up my sense of entitlement, or anxiety of a circumstance, or pride, jealousy… we’re beckoned to give that up, to surrender it to the Lord, and in return we get all of Him. Which sounds glorious.
He tells the story of the caterpillar who eventually transforms into a butterfly, and he likens it to the transformation involved in becoming a Christian. He makes this beautiful statement, that I want to draw everywhere: “The caterpillar is born to crawl, but reborn to fly.”
In Christ we are born again, given the chance to live in freedom by surrendering everything we’ve got white-knuckle grasps on. Things that are hindering us from living as if Jesus is bigger than life, believing that getting all of Him is the most wonderful, extraordinary, beautiful reality we can have in this earthly life.
“Surrender all that you are hanging on to for something far better — the redemption of your soul.”
What are those things for me — the things that take up more room than necessary? Pride, insecurity, perfectionism.
What are those things for you?