2013 was what my wife and I jokingly describe as being an “unlucky” year. We lost loved ones, pets, jobs, and at times we lost some hope. We began the year like we do every one, believing that the best is yet to come. 2014 brought some of the same trials our way. We ended the year on a better note but still with many questions and unanswered prayers. However, we are beginning this New Year believing that the best is still yet to come. And there is something about 2015 that feels a bit different than the last two.
In 1999 I was a Senior at Valley Forge Christian College. One of my classmates, Nicole Sewell (Fairchild), spoke in chapel one day and I remember a story that she shared called, “Keep Your Fork.” Here is the story:
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.
“I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand,” she told him.
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 a story that I never forgot and I have tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. Here’s her story:
“In all my years of 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 your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew 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.”
You have to believe that the best is STILL yet to come. What else is there to believe? You may have lost a child, a loved one, a job, a marriage, a relationship, a dream, a goal, or a desire but what you haven’t lost is a God who walks beside you day and night. You are never alone, even when you feel like it. Your fork represents the dreams that have yet to be realized. You will have another child. You will love again. You will get a better job. You will write that book, take that trip, finish that degree, and leave a legacy in this world. Hold on tight to that fork!
The best is STILL yet to come!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Jamie Zirkle currently resides with his wife and son in his hometown of Winchester, VA. He is licensed with the Assemblies of God. Jamie continues to serve as a lay leader in Victory Church while he waits on God to open the next ministry opportunity for him. You can read more articles from Jamie at his blog (http://jamiezirkle.wordpress.com/) and connect with him on LinkedIn