A handful of times in my life, I have been in the presence of a highly anointed person. By this I mean someone who we all recognize as very average. One of us. Yet, God puts His hand on this person and they make an impact sure to last for generations.
One such time, Billy Graham came to St. Louis. I lived there at the time and had the opportunity to be involved with the event as a local church member. We went through training to counsel those people who would come forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior and/or would need prayer.
I also had the opportunity to sing in the community choir under the direction of George Beverly Shea.
I couldn’t tell you what Billy Graham spoke about that weekend. I remember it being very evangelical. He painstakingly presented the gospel message each evening.
The thing I remember more than his words. His presence. This happened around the year 2000 so Mr. Graham would have been much younger. His voice shook. He couldn’t stand for a long period of time.
As the evening drew to a close, the community choir started singing one final song. The invitation call. Thousands flooded to the altar. Just a makeshift row between the elevated stage and the front row of seats.
Someone put a stool up to the podium for Mr. Graham to sit down. He did. And he bowed his head.
I’ll never forget the reverence he displayed when he simply bowed his head. Every person in the arena knew he was praying for every person in the arena. That not one soul would remain lost.
It was one awesome moment.
On the back of his autobiography, “Just As I Am,” you find the following quote from Mr. Graham:
“I have often said that the first thing I am going to do when I get to Heaven is to ask, ‘Why me, Lord? Why did you choose a farm boy from North Carolina to preach to so many people, to have such a wonderful team of associates, and to have a part in what You were doing in the latter half of the twentieth century?’ I have thought about that question a great deal, but I know also that only God knows the answer.”
An average man. A sinner like you and me. Used mightily by God around the world.
Another time I found myself in the presence of one highly anointed was just recently. A group of ladies from our church made a two-hour trek to see Beth Moore in a Living Proof Live event.
She taught us. Beth always teaches us. We studied Scripture from Acts 16. Lydia. The lady Paul met after heeding the Macedonian call. Also the widow in Luke 15. We read in verse nine, upon finding the coin, she called her girlfriends. Of course!
Beth also entertained us. Her personal stories are worth the price of admission. At one point, she read a portion of Scripture and then admitted she’d briefly forgotten how the verses tied in with the message. “Aren’t you glad you’re not me right now,” she said.
Average. Probably often wonders why God used a small town girl from Arkansas.
And in the years to come, I’ll probably forget the words Beth used to teach us. The notes I took will get lost in the shuffle of paperwork that goes on in a household.
But I won’t forget her presence. God has brought her so far. She breathes redemption. My favorite part of the event was worshiping with this great teacher.
She stood among the Living Proof praise band, under the leadership of Travis Cottrell. I’ve heard her often say she offers up a joyful noise to the Lord. Perhaps not one anyone else would appreciate. But God does.
At this event, she sang her heart out. She danced about on stage, clapping her hands and raising them in the air. At times, the music brought her to her knees in prayer.
Living. Proof. Indeed.
It’s high time we remembered God uses average folk. We don’t know what He uses us for necessarily, But we know it will be good. These two people sold out to Christ. If you’ll do the same, He will use you. Let Him.