When I first saw the title of Billy Graham's new book, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well, I knew I wanted to read it. Partly because I'm no longer in my teens or twenties; like it or not, I'm staring mortality in the face a little closer each day. Partly because of caring for my mom and watching that last difficult year of her life before she went home to be with Jesus (at the age of 96). And partly because I truly do want to "finish well" myself. Western culture tends to make us think we can be forever young. It is a lie. One that far too many buy into. We do not prepare ourselves well for the truth of aging.
“I never thought I would live to be this old.”
In this moving narrative, Billy Graham once again takes up the pen not only to share his personal experience of growing older but also teach us some important lessons on how to view our time here on Earth. He says that the Bible makes it clear that God has a specific reason for keeping us here. So what is His purpose for these years, and how can we align our lives with it? How can we not only learn to cope with the fears and struggles and growing limitations we face but actually grow stronger inwardly in the midst of these difficulties?
In what may be his most powerful message of the last decade, Billy Graham speaks to all on this side of Heaven as he covers the importance of four key areas:
Building strong foundations and understanding the gift of years
Facing life’s transitions, including the passing of years, retirement, and when loved ones die
Making wise decisions
Understanding our glorious hope
“In this book I invite you to explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but the hope and fulfillment and even joy that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God’s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day. I pray that you and I may learn what it means not only to grow older, but, with God’s help, to grow older with grace.”
I truly enjoyed reading Nearing Home. Yes, there were some parts (as when Graham is helping readers to identify those things, like living wills, that they need to attend to while they are still younger) that are a bit dry. I much preferred when he shared stories from his past or present and when he shared spiritual insights. But this is still a book that I have and will recommended to others.
The publisher, Thomas Nelson, provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.