Friday, February 12, 2010

Pressing On Toward the Goal...

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life..."
John 5:24
Today a precious woman of God was laid to rest. Joyce Banning was the mother of one of my dearest childhood friends and wife of Earl Banning, the pastor of the church I attended growing up in Texas. She was my Missionette teacher, too. I will never forget the night we were sitting in the floor in our classroom going over Bible verses and this HUGE cockroach flew, yes...flew down from the corner of the room and dive bombed us. The screeching that came from this room full of 11 year old girls. But she handled it was such grace.

Though I haven't seen her in more than twenty years, I remember her to be a sweet woman who loved God with all her heart. She had a beautiful smile and a servant heart. Lori told me that she couldn't wait to see Jesus.

Paul tells us in Philippians 3 to "press on toward the goal.." and in Hebrews 12 to "run the race" and "fix our eyes on Jesus, the perfecter of our faith". Last Sunday morning, as I stood worshiping in church, I realized Sister Banning, who had spent her life pressing on toward the goal and running the race with her eyes firmly fix on Jesus, had finished her race and was worshiping in the Throne Room. Isn't that an amazing thought? 

Last night in choir practice, we began singing a song called THAT NAME (full lyrics). (I believe I have mentioned before that music speaks to did again.) When we got to the final verse, I thought of Joyce Banning, and began to cry. The words so beautifully described this moment in time for her.

Someday I'll leave this earthly dwelling,
Through time and space, my soul will soar.
And finally see the face of Jesus.
And praise his name, forevermore!
That name is Jesus, oh how I love him!
The one who gave his life for me!
Because of love so unconditional,
I will have life eternally.

 Lori, to you and your family, I dedicate this song...your mom has left this earthly dwelling, soared through time and space and has seen the face of Jesus! Can you picture it? She's finished the race! And in the process has given all who knew her a great example of how to press on toward the goal, with grace and perseverance...til we, too, see the face of Jesus.
I love you!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

A great tribute 'Lena. She sounds like she was a beautiful woman.