Keep your fork: it’s worth it! | Faith | The Press and Standard

by | November 26, 2017 5:00 am

Last Updated: November 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

How many times have you gone to a restaurant to partake of a delicious meal, and as the waiter or waitress is removing your dishes, he or she says, “Keep your fork”? It clearly shows that the meal is not over just yet.
If it is a restaurant where the entire meal is brought to you by a server, then there is more to come with the entrée. For buffet-styled restaurants, you can simply help yourself to another fork if your first one gets removed. Well, that’s the meaning of keeping the fork in the natural, but what does it have to do with the spiritual realm?
I read a story about this a while ago, and it really stuck with me. Do you need some encouragement or a little lifting? Then let me share this “spiritual elevator” with you, and please pass it on to others, especially at your Thanksgiving and other special gatherings. This Guideposts’ exclusive is sure to leave you in deep thought as it did for both my husband Herman and me.
“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.’”
What a powerful analogy! This woman knew that even though she had been suffering with this illness for a while, death was not the end, and she would be going to a better place, where there would be no more pain, suffering, sadness, sickness, bad days or rough times. She knew “the best was yet to come,” and she wanted those who attended her service to know that there is hope, no matter what the situation. Glory be to God! What an awesome and loving God that we serve.
If you want the best, you have to give up something to get it. What a promise in Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV): “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Then look at the promise of the best that will come to those who believe as told in Romans 8:18 (KJV): “ For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Remember to “keep your fork” (hope) because it is worth it. Hallelujah to The King!
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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