Several years ago I had the privilege of serving as a part-time special projects musician in the International Ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). The Director of the International Ministries, Reverend Bob Williams, was an amazing man of God who taught me a lot about serving God with integrity, vision, and an unrelenting commitment to the Lord and His Kingdom work. Serving under Bob’s leadership felt like serving with the Apostle Paul, as Bob labored in many incredibly difficult conditions and with severe physical challenges, including a rare lung disease that eventually claimed his life. Through it all Bob maintained a steadfast love for and dedication to Jesus Christ and the Gospel, a testimony that inspires me to this day.
Bob was great at telling stories to help convey the truths of God’s Word. One time he recounted an experience he had, conveying a lesson I will never forget.
Bob was overseeing a very large BGEA worldwide simulcast and was in Washington, DC with Dr. Billy and Ruth Graham finalizing preparations for the event. The Grahams received an invitation to meet with the President and First Lady of the United States at the White House.
As Bob continued to work and meet with staff on wrapping up details of the upcoming event he received a phone call informing him that a car would be picking him up from his hotel to bring him to the White House to meet with the President, Mr. Graham, and their wives. A short time later Bob found himself at the White House briefing the President and First Lady on the event. God had opened the door for Bob to present the message of the Gospel and God’s Kingdom work to the most powerful government leader on the planet.
But the story doesn’t end there.
After the meeting, Bob was scheduled to fly back to Minneapolis and immediately went to the airport. I had flown with Bob before and knew that he preferred the aisle seat and some privacy to pray, reflect, and catch up on work. On this particular flight, Bob was assigned a middle seat and was more hopeful he could move to the aisle seat as no one came to occupy it. At the last minute, however, a paraplegic man was assisted to the aisle seat. They talked for a few minutes as the flight began, but soon Bob settled into his work.
A little later in the flight Bob noticed tears coming down the man’s face. He quietly asked the man what was wrong, and the man replied in tears that he didn’t have control over his bowels and just soiled his pants. Bob quickly but quietly found a flight attendant and they helped the man to the onboard restroom where Bob cleaned the man and got him back to his seat.
All this happened within a few hours of Bob’s White House meeting.
Bob reminded me that God sometimes calls us to present the Good News of Jesus Christ with people who may be well known. Other times—more often than the previous case—God calls us to serve others by attending to their needs, even the ones that would seem the most undesirable.
Being an authentic worshiper of God means we will lay down our rights and pride and serve wherever He calls us, whether it is in a place of honor or with someone in distress or difficulty.
Jesus put it this way:
“ Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I invite you to share your “life of worship” experiences, and I will sometimes include selected comments in this blog. Here’s one great comment about my recent blog “Of Bricks and Plans”:
“I would add that God uses broken people as well. Sometimes we may feel too broken to be of use for God, or to be of use to others, but it is sometimes our brokenness that is the most useful in spreading the good news. Often we look for people who seem to be the most competent in life, but there is a place and need for the broken, and there is hope for the broken thanks to our greet Lord.”
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Keep sending your thoughts, and please let others know about this weekly worship blog.
God bless you!