Posted: February 17, 2014 at 1:56 a.m.
DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I can’t get around very easily because of some physical disabilities. They’ve gotten worse recently, and now I’ve had to stop going to my church because it isn’t handicapped accessible. Will God understand why I don’t go anymore?
DEAR A.B.: I want to assure you that God understands your situation, and He doesn’t look down on you because you can’t do everything you once did. The Bible says, “For we do not have a high priest [Jesus]who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15).
At the same time, I urge you to do everything you can to keep contact with your church and its members. You need their encouragement and help - and your example can be an encouragement to them. In addition, find ways to continue receiving spiritual help from your church’s ministry. Are sermons available through its website or by some other means? Have you told your pastor that you’d welcome visits? The Bible says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
In addition, I hope your church will take steps to become more accessible. I’m thankful that many churches have already done this, and I hope yours will, as well. Jesus went out of His way to seek out those who had difficulty reaching Him. He even allowed some men to tear up the roof of a crowded house where He was speaking, so they could lower their paralyzed friend down to Him (see Luke 5:19).
Take comfort also in Jesus’ promises about the future - His promise to be with you, and His promise that someday we will go to be with Him in heaven if we know Christ. Never forget: One day, all our earthly ills will be over, and we will be safely in His presence forever.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
ActiveStyle, Pages 24 on 02/17/2014