"Keep Your Fork...??"
-- Author Unknown
There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.
She told him which songs she wanted to be sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything seemed in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something that was very important to her.
She excitedly said, "There is one more thing, pastor." "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important to me" the woman continued, "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand!"
The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you pastor, doesn't it?" "Well, to be honest yes, I am puzzled by your request" replied the pastor.
The woman went on to explain, "In all my years attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep the fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie.
Then something wonderful and with substance would arrive for dessert. So... I just want the people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand. And, I want them to wonder... 'What's with the fork'?" Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork -- the best is yet to come!" (Oh, that we all had such a good perspective on our lives!)
The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye. He knew he might not see her again before her death, but he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.
She knew that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing, her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork?" And... over and over he just smiled.
During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. The pastor told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her.
The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not stop thinking about it either... he was right! So, the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently... that the best is yet to come!
Keep in mind... the heartaches that we face here on earth are temporal, they will not last forever. When misery and despair seem to overwhelm you -- do something immediately, go directly to your prayer closet or talk to someone you trust.
For those of you whose heart is broken, whose burdens are heavy and whose life seems shattered, know that it is only for a season. You won't have to bear these afflictions forever -- joy, laughter, gladness and pleasure are bound to follow and ultimately we will see Jesus!!
And while death and mourning are not easy to bear, we must always be mindful of the fact, that we have a burden bearer. We can be sure that our Lord Jesus is right beside us and He will carry us when we can't seem to go on. We do not grieve as the world -- for our eternity will be spent with Jesus... in a home that He has prepared for us!
So my friend... as your tears flow relentlessly... remember this -- blessings and joy beyond measure await you!! (And... If you need to talk, I'm here!)