Ruth “Bunny” Graham, daughter of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham, recently released a book titled, Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There. She spent some time talking about the motivation and the message behind this book.
“The motivation for writing this book really came from my own experience,” said Graham. “I was going through a tough time with one of my children, and had a talk with my mother. Shortly thereafter, a package arrived at my door.”
The package was a plaque that was displayed by her mother’s Bible study desk for many years. The plaque was surrounded by a crown of thorns and contained a rough cross, made of twigs. The words on the plaque read, Fear not tomorrow, God is already there. “That is the inspiration behind the book title,” said Graham.
She explained that it was during this season of her life that she asked questions about God, such as:
Is He really there?
Will He be angry?
Will He judge me?
“It was then that I decided to take a really close look at God’s character, as Jesus is the exact representation of God. To do this, I went into the gospels and looked over Jesus’ shoulder as he dwelt among people.”
It was also through a Bible study she taught for women at her church about enjoying God that drew her closer to him as she learned more about His character.
“Some of us tend to think of God as purely a judge and a law keeper. He is those things, but He is also a God of surprises. He is constantly wooing us into an intimate relationship. So many of us think we have to earn this, through things like faithfulness in church attendance, tithing, or praying on our knees.”
While these things are very important, she says they are not what matter most to His heart. “God wants us to enjoy His presence and love Him for who he is.”
Witnessing His Character
Graham recalls the harrowing story of her daughter delivering a baby in August 2009. There were health concerns with the baby, and she recalls the road trip to the hospital.
“We were facing uncertainty. I didn’t know what was going to be happening when I arrived at the hospital,” she remembered. “I was worried, but then I began to mentally recite some of the characteristics of God that are listed in the back of my book: almighty, bountiful, caring, compassionate, deliverer…and the list goes on.”
While acknowledging that we all face uncertainly, we shouldn’t rely on our feelings – but on God’s character. “Our feelings change every few minutes. God’s character never changes.”
Learning by Example
Ruth Graham credits her parents for teaching her about God’s character – through their words and through their lives.
“The biggest thing that Mother taught me about God was about His faithfulness to her. She also modeled this through her very own faithfulness to Him. Even as she was dying, she was memorizing Psalm 91. If you were to ask her what impressed her most about the Lord, she would tell you it is His faithfulness.”
She says that her father taught her about trust in God. “Daddy has rested and drilled his bedrock into God’s character. He trusts what God has said is true, and the decision he made to believe the Bible has developed His character.”
Graham says just like everyone else, her parents were not perfect, but described them as “the best role models of God’s character I have ever seen.”
You can order a copy of Fear Not Tomorrow from our online bookstore.