Recently, I’ve been reading Franklin Graham’s book, “Rebel With a Cause.” Graham shares with his readers that the man who had the biggest impact on his life (other than his father) was Bob Pierce. Bob Pierce was the original founder of World Vision and later founded Samaritan’s Purse. Before Franklin became a Christian, Bob saw great promise in this young man, even if he was rebellious and living for himself at the time. Bob invited Franklin to travel with him to different countries all over the world. In places such as Turkey, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand, Bob showed Franklin the incredible suffering of humanity firsthand. He constantly drilled into him the need to look beyond himself to the plight of others and to seek to be a part of the solution in bringing help and relief to those who were unable to help themselves. Bob carried within him a fervent passion for the lost and wasted no time in making sure Franklin shared it as well.
Recognizing Franklin’s need for a mentor during some very difficult times, Bob stuck close to his friend. Bob was keenly aware that being the son of Billy Graham was much more difficult than anyone could fathom. Expectations were placed on Franklin by well-meaning people to someday take up his father’s mantle. Those were big shoes to fill. Bob was one of the closest friends that Franklin had at a time when Franklin was trying to figure out just who he was and what his role in life was.
Franklin’s life finally turned around and Bob rejoiced to see the change in this young “rebel.” Feeling strongly that Franklin was called to be the next President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, Bob worked tirelessly to groom Franklin for the job. In 1978, Bob died of leukemia. Franklin would eventually assume Bob’s role over Samaritan’s Purse which today is touching the world in a phenomenal way.
Franklin gleaned a lifetime’s worth of wisdom and knowledge from this true servant of the Lord. He recounts, however, that the single most important lesson was what Bob called “God room.”
From India we went to Katmandu, Nepal, and Iran. While traveling with Bob, I learned many of life’s lessons. But the lesson Bob taught me that stands out above all else is what Bob called, “God Room.”
“What do you mean?” I asked him once when he started talking about “God room.” He gave me a glance that was close to disgust, almost as if to say, “Don’t you know?” He took a deep breath and sighed before he said, “God room” is when you see a need and it’s bigger than your human abilities to meet it. But you accept the challenge. You trust God to bring in the finances and the materials to meet that need.
“You get together with your staff, your prayer partners, and supporters, and you pray. But after all is said and done, you can only raise a portion of the resources required. Then you begin to watch God work. Before you know it, the need is met. At the same time, you understand you didn’t do it. God did it. You allowed Him room to work.”
Prit and I have watched God work in this fashion for 31 years. We cannot recount the number of times that our finances have run so low that we were scraping the bottom of the barrel. I recall one time when we had $5 in our bank account. Yet, we would go to prayer and realize that we had to make room for God. Sure enough, the basic needs were always met somehow. God would come through time and time again. Maybe the needs were not all met when we had hoped they would be, but he always kept the wheels of Rehoboth Ministries turning. We would love to tell you that we don’t need to pray like that any more, yet we are still having to make “God room.”
Be encouraged today and make room for God. Believe him to do great things for you. Like Bob Pierce and Franklin Graham, he is looking for those who will be moved by his compassion to do mighty exploits for him!