Anne Graham Lotz knows what it’s like to get lost in the scurry of last minute details, the long days, the confusion, the urgency of things to do after the death of a parent. The daughter of Billy Graham says that after the death of her dad, and the busyness surrounding his funeral, God urged her to rest and take time to process what had taken place.
In a recent blog post, Graham Lotz said it was what Jesus told his disciples after the death of John the Baptist. Jesus invited His disciples to come away by themselves and get some rest.
“He knew how difficult it was to minister to others while their own hearts were breaking,” she said. “I, too, have heard the Lord whisper that same invitation to me in a unique way following my father’s move to Heaven and the swirl of events that were triggered by it.”
The 69-year-old Lotz recounted the flurry of events that took place following her father’s passing on Feb. 21, including extensive meet-and-greets, a processional through the nation’s capitol, a private dinner at the White House, and a funeral service in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“To say I was beyond exhaustion physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, would not come close to describing my state of being,” she said. “But the Lord knew I was poised to plunge into frantic activity in order to catch up on two weeks of work that had been paused. He knew that while I needed rest… quiet … isolation … I wouldn’t take it unless I was forced to take it.”
The following Sunday, Lotz was diagnosed with the worst strain of the flu, forcing her to lie down for over a week.
“To do nothing but rest. By myself. I know the Lord who is my Shepherd is the One who has made me lie down,” she said.
Lotz said that while she was only able to process a portion of what she experienced, some things regarding her father’s life and ministry are abundantly clear.
“I do know that my father’s life — and death — promoted the Gospel, exalted Jesus Christ, and glorified God! I do know that in the three weeks since word of my father’s homegoing was made public, the Gospel has been proclaimed worldwide over and over in every conceivable way by individuals, news media, ministries, entertainers, talk shows, churches … and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).”
Thanking her followers for their prayers and support, Lotz said after she has recovered from her illness, she will “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).”
Billy Graham, who died at age 99 at his home in Montreat, is credited with inspiring more than 3 million people to commit their lives to Christ in a ministry that spanned 185 of the world’s 195 countries, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
His private funeral service was streamed live and drew some 2,300 guests, including President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
During the ceremony, Lotz reflected on her father’s legacy and contended that, from Heaven’s perspective, his “death is as significant as his life.”
“And his life was very significant. But I think when he died, that was something very strategic from Heaven’s point of view,” Lotz said, adding that like a modern-day Moses, her father brought liberation to people through the Gospel.
“My father also is a great liberator. He brought millions of people out of bondage to sin and it gets us to the edge of Heaven, edge of the Promised Land, and then God has called him home. And could it be that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promised Land to lead us to Heaven?” Lotz mused.
“And do you know what the New Testament name is for Joshua? It’s Jesus. And I believe this is a shot across the bow from Heaven. And I believe God is saying, ‘Wake up Church! Wake up world! Wake up Anne! Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming,'” she said, pledging to preach God’s Word for the rest of her life.