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End of Construction

Ruth Bell was born in 1920 to medical missionary parents serving in China. She came to know Jesus as a young age and always thought she would remain single and, like her parents, serve as a missionary in Asia. God, though, had other plans. In 1940, while enrolled at Wheaton College, she met a man named Billy.

In 1943, the two were married and Ruth Bell became Ruth Bell Graham.

Neither could have predicted the adventure ahead. Neither could have known how God would use them to advance the cause of Christ. Through their ministry, hundreds of millions of people heard the message of Jesus.

Ruth passed away in 2007 and was buried at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. Next to her tombstone is a plaque that says, “While riding down the highway years ago, Ruth noticed a sign beside the road: ‘End of Construction – Thank you for your patience.’ With a smile, she said that these were the words she wanted on her gravestone.”

I’ve been under construction for three decades now. By the grace of God, there has been a lot of progress, but there is also still a lot of work left to be done. I’m more generous than I used to be, but I still hold tightly to what I perceive to be mine. I’m more forgiving than I used to be, but I can still hold a grudge. I’m more faithful to Jesus than I used to be, but I still wander. I’m more selfless than I used to be, but I still put myself first most of the time.

I’m not alone in that. None of us has arrived. None of us is all that God created us and saved us to be. None of us is without fault and failure. None of us is without sin.

We’re all still under construction. Let’s be patient with one another.

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