“Having been built on the foundation…Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone…the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21 NKJV).
Have you ever watched a construction crew tear down a huge building? Roofing, old carpet, walls, plumbing and everything imaginable uprooted. Definitely, a big mess for sure. Likewise, that’s our condition since the ‘god of this world’ gained a foothold in the Garden of Eden (2 Cor. 4:4). Thankfully though, that’s not our expected end. I marvel at our heavenly Architect and how He designed us to be beautiful structures (Psalm 139:14). Hitherto, we’re vessels made for the Master’s use: some gold, silver, clay or earthen but all types are needed to perform tasks that He ordains.
One such vessel and upright role model, Ruth Bell Graham—wife of worldwide evangelist Billy Graham—often said, “I’m a work in progress”. By the way, that describes all Christ followers. Born in China to medical missionaries and the second of five children, Ruth McCue Bell completed high school in Montreat, North Carolina while her parents furloughed there. Later, entering Wheaton College in Illinois she met her future husband.
I can’t imagine Ruth Graham needing reconstruction but truthfully, not one person attains perfection in this life. Painfully, and here’s the rub; we need correction “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12: 5-6 NKJV). In short, because God loves His children, He disciplines them. Therefore as we allow Him to chisel away our sinful habits, His will is accomplished in our lives. Like Mrs. Graham, we’re a work in progress and constant remodeling proves necessary.
Today, Ruth Graham’s resting place on earth is located at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway. The burial site is located in a prayer garden near ‘The Billy Graham Library’ in Charlotte, North Carolina with these words written on her gravestone: “End of Construction. Thank you for your patience”.
“For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11 Amp).