Keep your fork . . . the best is yet to come

We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.  2 Corinthians 5:4-5, MSG

English: Apple pie.

Apple pie and fork. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember sitting around the table enjoying a meal with family or friends and the hostess says, as she removes the dinner plates, “Save your fork. Dessert’s coming.” You groan inwardly . . . why did I fill up on roasted garlic smashed potatoes? I have no more room for dessert. But when you see what the hostess has just set before you ~ warm out of the oven ~ diet plans fly out the window. It’s no less than her famous apple pie loaded down with a side of cinnamon ice cream flanking the delectable apples. The two were already sharing their mouth-watering flavors before you could politely take the first bite. (I know. It was a long sentence, but worth every descriptive word, yeah?) Yum to the last crumb. 

Parable of the Fork

There is a story told about a woman who had been diagnosed with a deadly illness and had been given 3 months to live. Her doctor told her to start making preparations to die so 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 she wanted to wear. The woman also told her pastor that she wanted to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. “There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly. “What’s that?” asked the pastor. “This is very important,” the old woman began slowly, “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The pastor gazed at the woman, not quite knowing how to respond. “That shocks you doesn’t it?” asked the woman. “Well to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the pastor.

“In all my years attending church socials and functions where food was involved,” the lady began, “my favorite part was when whoever was clearing away the dishes of the main course would lean over and say, ‘You can keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something wonderful was coming. It wouldn’t be Jell-O or pudding. It would be cake or pie. Something with substance. So I just want people to look down on me and see a fork in my hand. I want them to wonder what’s with the fork? Then I want you to tell them: ‘Something better is coming so keep your fork too.'” The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye. He knew this could likely be the last time he would see her before her death. But he also knew she had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She knew that something better was coming.

At the funeral, family and friends passed by the one they loved. They saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible by her side and also . . . strangely . . . the fork in her right hand. Over and over the pastor heard the question whispered, “What’s with the fork?” And over and over it brought a smile to his face. During his message the pastor told the people about the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and 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 be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your dessert fork, let it remind you that the best is yet to come.  (Unknown)

This is what God’s Spirit makes you feel about heaven. You’ve been given a taste of paradise through brief descriptions in the Bible. Furthermore, God’s Spirit has awakened a hunger in your heart that your mind can’t fully comprehend. Your heart longs for the home you were created to inhabit, a place where death, pain, and sorrow have no hold, where your body is healthy and whole, where peace and praise replace struggle and strife, where you meet God and Jesus and loved ones face to face; never have to say good-bye ever again!

Heaven is as real as those God-given longings. But God didn’t give you a taste of what’s ahead to leave you discontent with where you are now. He uses those longings as a homing device to keep you headed in the right direction. They remind you to view present problems from an eternal perspective. By keeping heaven in your heart and on your mind, you’ll gain strength to handle life here and now, as you rest in the fact that God’s best is yet to come.” ~thoughts from 100 Favorite Bible Verses

 

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