keep your fork

  Having hope in Christ is a beautiful thing. It means that no matter what might be happening right now you are choosing to believe that it's all for a purpose, and something good will be right around the corner. It's what keeps us going day after day! I read a really cute story about hope in John Ortberg's book If You Want to Walk On Water You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, and I think it perfectly sums up our ultimate hope as believers in Jesus Christ...

I read recently about a woman who had been diagnosed with cancer and was given three months to live. Her doctor told her to make preparations to die, so she contacted her pastor and told him how she wanted things arranged for her funeral service - which songs she wanted to have sung, what Scriptures should be read, what words should be spoken - and that she wanted to be buried with her favorite Bible.
     But before he left, she called out to him, "One more thing."
    "This is important. I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."
The pastor did not know what to say. No one had ever made such a request before. So she explained. "In all my years going to church functions, whenever food was involved, my favorite part was when whoever was cleaning dishes of the main course would lean over and say, You can keep your fork. 
    "It was my favorite part because I knew that it meant something great was coming. It wasn't jello-O. It was something with substance - cake or pie - Biblical food. 
    "So I just want people to see me there in my 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, Something better is coming. Keep your fork."   (p.169-170)
   I love this story! We have something better for us at the very end. What awaits after the final breath is taken is better than any dessert ever imagined (and I'm on a restricted diet right now, so I can tell you that I am imagining some pretty awesome desserts). Keep your fork. Don't give up. Don't lose heart and don't lose HOPE ... something better is coming. 

"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Revelation 21:3-4