There was a young 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 sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the Pastor's reply. "This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the Pastor.
The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, "Keep your fork." It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming .... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want 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." She KNEW that something better was coming!
This made me think of Pastor’s Tim sermon about God’s finishing touches. I thought of this as Pastor Tim talked about the finishing touches God puts on us. Ecclesiastes 3: 11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. During Thursday night service, Joey Gore led us in, James Milton Black’s, “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”. We sang, “Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun, let us talk of all His wondrous love and care. Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.” This song is based on scripture. 1 Corinthians 15: 52, “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
Revelation 20: 12, “Another book was opened, which is the book of life.” Revelation 11:15-18, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’” I love how our songs are picked to affirm what we are learning. There seemed to be so much excitement while singing this song, knowing and believing that the best is yet to come! Knowing that one day, when I hear my name called, the joy will be unlike anything I can imagine!
What next steps do we need to take? Are we doing what we can to further God’s Kingdom? Are we taking steps, even baby steps, to be a witness for God? Remember God has a plan for us and always has! In our mother’s womb He had a plan for us. Jeremiah 1: 5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Isaiah 49: 5, “And now the Lord says, ‘Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant…’”
And remember ... keep your fork! The BEST is yet to come!