As the disabilities of age mount, focus on your blessings
by Billy Graham
columnist
December 08, 2012 12:09 AM | 978 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I’m in my 80s, and I’ve just been told that I’m going blind. It’s not going to happen all at once, I understand, but there doesn’t seem to be much the doctors can do about it. I hate this, and I’m not sure life is worth living anymore. What do you think? — H.R.

A: Your letter came just as I was celebrating my 94th birthday — and now someone has to read my mail to me, because I too suffer from what’s called age-related macular degeneration, or growing blindness.

Has it been easy to adjust to this? Not really; I miss not being able to pick up a newspaper and read it or read my Bible the way I once could. But instead of focusing on what I can’t do as the disabilities of old age increase, I try instead to focus on what I still can do. I still have some vision; I still can move about to some degree; I still can spend time with my children and grandchildren (and now great-grandchildren).

Most of all, I still can enjoy God’s presence every day. I can pray; I can encourage others; I can meditate on the promises God has given us in His Word, the Bible; I can thank God for His faithfulness to me over the years. God’s promise is true: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you” (Isaiah 46:4).

Don’t give in to despair. Instead, give your life to Jesus Christ, and ask Him to help you adjust to whatever comes your way. Above all, thank Him that someday all the pains and sorrows and disabilities of this life will be over and we will be safely in God’s presence forever.

Q: Do we have any way of knowing what Jesus might have looked like? I’m a member of a minority race, and to be honest I get tired of seeing Jesus pictured as a white man, because I’m not sure that’s what He was. — Y.W.

A: No, we don’t know exactly what Jesus looked like; the Bible doesn’t tell us, nor did anyone paint His portrait while He was alive. Artists have tried to imagine what He might have looked like, but at best their efforts are only guesswork (and sometimes clearly wrong).

What is clear from the Bible, however, is that Jesus didn’t come just to save one race or one ethnic group. He came into the world to demonstrate God’s love for the whole world — for people of every race and culture. By His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead He opened heaven’s door to all who will come to Him by faith. The best-known verse in the Bible makes this clear: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Don’t let the mistakes (or even the prejudices) of a few keep you from Jesus. Instead, thank God for His love for you — and make that love a daily reality by opening your heart and life to Jesus Christ. Ask God also to give you a new love for others, no matter their race.

Thank God, too, that in heaven all the barriers that currently divide us will be erased forever. Then we will praise God together, thanking Him for sending His Son into the world to save “men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.
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