A: I understand your heartache; although it’s been several years now since my wife, Ruth, went home to be with the Lord, not a day goes by without my thoughts turning to her and the many years we had together. And yes, holidays are especially difficult.
But I take comfort in three great truths, and I encourage you to do so, as well. First, I know she is safely in heaven, far beyond the pain and suffering she often endured here. She is now in God’s presence forever, and although I miss her greatly, I know that someday soon we will stand together before the throne of God. For her, Jesus’ promise has been fulfilled: “My Father’s house has many rooms... I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
I also take comfort in the fact that I’m never truly alone, because Christ is with me every moment of the day. I may not always feel His presence, but I know He still surrounds me with His love. And this can be your experience, as you turn to Him in prayer and in the Bible every day.
Finally, I take comfort in the fact that God still has a reason for keeping me here — and He does for you. No, you may not be able to do everything you once did. But you can pray for others, and you can encourage those around you by your smile and your love and concern. Keep your eyes on Christ, for He gives us hope.
Q: Who were the so-called “wise men” who came to worship Jesus when He was born? The Bible doesn’t seem to say much about them. — J.K.
A: You’re right; the Bible doesn’t tell us much about the “wise men” (or “magi”) who came seeking the newborn king. It doesn’t even tell us how many there were; tradition says there were three of them, since they brought three gifts, but there may have been more. In reality, it doesn’t matter.
What is clear is that they were from a country in the east (probably Persia or Babylonia) and had traveled a great distance to seek the child. (You can read about them in Matthew 2.) Although they were probably Gentiles, they may have had contact with Jews who had settled in their home country centuries before, and therefore they would have known of God’s promise to send the Messiah into the world. When God sent a special star in the heavens, they knew the prophecy was being fulfilled, and they undertook their journey to find Him.
Why are they important? They are important first of all because they tell us that Jesus Christ came into the world for all kinds of people regardless of our wealth or social standing or ethnic or racial background. He came for the wise men; He came for the humble shepherds — and He came for you.
But the wise men also are important because they are an example to us. They endured danger and hardship and scorn to find Christ, and so should we. And when they found Him, they worshipped Him and gave Him their treasures, and so should we. Jesus’ promise is true: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.