March 5, 2013
Billy Graham Offers Advice on Growing Old
New interview touches on money, retirement, relationships, and what Graham most looks forward to about heaven.
In a new interview with Chuck Bentley, Billy Graham says he is anticipating the day when "all the burdens and sorrows that press down upon me at this stage of my life will be over."
In short, America's pastor is looking forward to "going home."
That comes as no surprise: Graham has said he's not afraid of death, but he never expected to live longer than his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007. In this new interview, which appears in Do Well magazine, a publication of Crown Financial Ministries, Graham says he has learned many difficult lessons in his wife's absence.
"While I will never grow accustomed to life without Ruth, she would be the first to scold me if I didn’t look for God’s plan for the here and now," Graham said.
The wide-ranging conversation in Do Well touches on topics related to aging, including family, finances, and retirement. Much like another major church leader who recently retired, Graham says he knew it was time to retire from active ministry when he "no longer had the physical stamina to maintain the schedule [he] once kept."
But retirement doesn't mean uselessness, Graham says. Rather, older generations still have a duty to lead the way for younger believers.
"As long as we are still breathing, we are still leading the way," he said. "Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact—men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do. ... Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them our latter years can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives."