Many years ago when Disciplers first began, I was a discussion leader and was blessed to have as a part of my group, a woman named Loraner. Loraner was not a young woman, but she had a lot of spunk. She had a twinkle in her eye and her words were always wise. When she opened her mouth, everyone wanted to listen.
As a consequence of having diabetes, Loraner’s eyesight was poor. Her daughter, Shirley, helped her with the Bible study lesson each weak by reading aloud the questions and Scripture passages and then writing down Loraner’s answers. In the discussion group, Loraner loved to share her answers and when she did, the rest of us were all ears. Sometimes she remembered her answers, but when she didn’t one of the ladies sitting next to her would read it for her. It was a special treat and privilege to sit next to Loraner.
Loraner also had trouble with circulation in her feet. This was due to the diabetes also. She used a cane when she walked, in addition to the arm of a willing woman in our group. Several times Loraner was hospitalized as a result of the diabetic neuropathy in her feet, and it was a joy and a blessing to visit her. She always had a big smile and comforting words for visitors. I loved visiting with Loraner and learning from her what it means to be a woman of God.
I was blessed to know this amazing woman for many years before she went to be with the Lord, and on the day of her memorial service I was inspired to write a poem about Loraner. This past week I was doing some “spring cleaning” and going through stacks of papers stored away in boxes. I found the poem I wrote about Loraner and thought I would share it with you today. Here it is.
When I grow old I want to go to church every Sunday and sit in the front row
I want my presence to be an encouragement to the pastor, the choir, and everyone who sits around me
I want to smile big and often and I want people to see Jesus when they look at me
I want to glow
I want to take advantage of every opportunity to know the Lord better
I want to be eager to learn
I want to give big bear hugs to everyone who needs them
I want to laugh with gusto, even at myself
I want to inspire my children and grandchildren to love one another and to love
I want to be hospitable so people will feel welcome in my home
I want to be grateful, even for the littlest things
I want to have patience, even with those who don’t deserve it
I want to be able to say the right words at the right time
to people in need
I want to have a heart as big as all outdoors
I want to have faith like Sarah and Abraham
I want to have endurance like Moses
I want to have courage like Deborah and Rahab
I want to stand on the Lord’s side in the face of incredible odds like Joshua and Caleb
I want to be a beautiful example of cheerful courage to everyone
I want people to stand in awe and say “Doesn’t she have an amazing God!”
I want to be all these things --I want to be like Loraner
Well, why wait until I’m old
Why don’t I start right now -- get some good practice
And maybe I’ll be able to at least come close
By the time I’m old!
This morning I woke up to a beautiful Hawaiian day with the sun shining, the trade winds gently rustling the curtains, birds singing outside my window, and the fragrance of plumeria in the air. Even before getting out of bed, there was so much to thank God for! What a wonderful world He has designed and created for us to enjoy.
Later, I sat down with my Bible. I read through the Bible every year, and today I am in the middle of the Book of Job. In Chapter 26 Job speaks of God's mighty power over His creation: binding up the water in the clouds, stirring up the sea, breaking up the storm, making the pillars of heaven tremble. And then Job says, "Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; and how faint a word we hear of Him." Imagine that! The sweetness and beauty and power displayed in God's created world which we experience every day are just the "fringes of His ways". The sunshine and the warmth it brings, majestic mountains, playful waves on the shore, lavish green forests, gentle cooling breezes, gentle rains and flashing lightening are just "the fringes of His ways". Have you ever witnessed a glorious sunset that filled the sky with all shades of red, pink, and orange? Have you marveled at a rainbow? Have you shuddered at the sound of thunder? Those are just the fringes, just a little taste of the glory and power of God! In the last blog, I referred to them as "glimpses of His glory".
But the Bible promises that one day we will see the fullness of His glory. Ive mentioned before that I've been in a group this year studying the Book of Revelation. We just finished last week, and it has been a huge blessing to study about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the promise of His return. For me, the very best part of the book comes at the very end in Revelation 22. The most amazing promise is made to us who believe. We will see His face! The day will come when God will no longer reveal just the fringes of His ways. We will see Him face to face. We will experience the fullness of His glory. What a promise! What a hope to treasure in our hearts.
I pray that this is your hope, as it is mine. And every day, as you see the fringes of His ways in His creation, in His Word, and in the daily evidence of His love and mercy toward you, please be reminded that one day you will see of the unfathomable beauty of His glory. That is our hope as believers. We will see Him face to face.
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.