Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 7:30-9:16 / Colossians 1:1-23 / Psalm 116:12-19
Death is a part of life yet it is not a welcomed visitor. Instilled within man is a strong will to live. Man resists death till the very end and struggles for one more breath, even the very last one. Overwhelming emotions such as sorrow, grief, pain and confusion accompany the process of death. The world has difficulties facing the “unknowns” and death is one of the greatest mysteries of life.
God on the other hand, views death in the light of truth and understanding. When God sees His redemptive child nearing the end of life, He is filled with joy! The Psalmist writes, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15) There is weeping on earth but rejoicing in heaven!
Why is the death of a believer “precious” to God? God does not look upon death as the “end” but the beginning of eternal fellowship with His children! The Heavenly Father longs to embrace and reward us. He has prepared a mansion for His children and longs to share with us the fullness of heaven. God is anticipating and patiently waiting to begin His eternal family reunion! We can’t even begin to imagine what God has in store for us. If we could only catch a glimpse of The Father’s eternal desire and plans for us, death would not be a sorrowful end but a blessed beginning!
Roger William Thomas wrote “Keep Your Fork” and it was published in the 1996 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Hope you enjoy it… “A woman was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given three months to live. She asked her Pastor to come to her home to discuss her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at her funeral, and what scriptures she wanted read, and which outfit she wanted to be buried in. Then she said, “One more thing… I want to be buried with a fork in my hand.” The pastor was surprised.
The woman explained, “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 say to everyone, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite time of the dinner, because I knew something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie – something wonderful. So, I want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, “What’s with the fork?” Then, I want you to tell them, “Keep your fork, because the best is yet to come.”
The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he bid the woman goodbye. He realized she had a better grasp of heaven than he did, and knew something better was coming. At the funeral, when people asked him why she was holding a fork, the pastor told them of the conversation he had with the woman before she died. He said he could not stop thinking about the fork, and knew they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.” The best is yet to come!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!