Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Lima beans and forks

My gram’s silverware was smooth with a line going through the bottom, it had a small daisies embellishment on the bottom. I haven’t seen that silverware in years but I can still feel the way it felt in my hand and the way I felt sitting at the dinner table at her house. I can remember how all the silverware matched and fit perfectly in the silverware tray (none of the silverware we had growing up matched, and now… ALL mine does). I can see the yellow table cloth and see the centerpiece that she kept on her table until it was time to eat. I actually still have it, and while some might say it’s ugly (because it kind of is) it reminds me of family and so I keep it.

When I was a kid my dad made me eat my vegetables. Three that I hated… Spinach (that we always ate when we had steak on Fridays), peas, and lima beans. One for every year old you were. When we were gonna have peas or lima beans I always winced. YUCK!

I was listening to a podcast this morning from Elevation Church, Perry Noble was bringing The Word, and he talked about saving his fork because the best is yet to come. You can read the story about the fork below.

I was thinking about how good God is. Seriously I was thinking about how I felt like I was eating lima beans (for the record, I now LOVE peas, and spinach, but still don’t like lima beans – who wants to eat something that looks like a kidney!). I felt like every day was a battle, and I was throwing up, which would happen if I had to eat plates of lima beans. I am still throwing up sometimes but it’s fewer and far between.

When Perry Noble started talking about fork and how the best is yet to come. My heart instantly started praising God. Thank You for the lima beans of the last month, thank You for the heart break that brought me closer to you (my heart is not completely healed, and I still mourn loss, but I can now see the light, and I’ll always love), thank You Lord.

I think about all that has happened just in the last few days. About how this heartache has given me a different view of those who are hurting, it has helped me to pray on a much deeper level. All of it has helped me to love bigger, more, it has helped me to love Jesus more, it has helped me love others like Jesus would. It has helped me to be more obedient because certainly in the lima bean phase, I didn’t want to do anything God asked me to do, but I did it anyway. And this is just the first bite of dessert. God has real purpose for me. He has big plans for me. I’ve been praying for so many, and even for myself.

I’m actually loving this time of stillness (or as still as I can be) that I spend more time with God. I don’t sign up for things, and I don’t even get asked to do things, but it seems that people will call me at the last minute to help, and I joyfully say yes! I love it. Maybe I am not someone’s first choice at for doing something, maybe they don’t even think of me, but it’s ok, because I know that being at the feet of Jesus, praying, and reading His word is a priority, and He wants me there. And I'll just be waiting if they need me to serve.

Jesus is alive! He is working in me everyday! When I come to Him with a heart of thankfulness for His grace, how can I not have Joy?! And the best is yet to come!!

Thank You Jesus!

Jer 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

photo from here
There was a 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. The woman also requested 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?" came the pastor's reply.

"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. 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 lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'.

It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was 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".

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better as coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about 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 fork, let it remind you oh so gently, that the best is yet to come…


Deb said...

Awesome post Margie! Crying here....
good stuff. :)

Jada's Gigi said...

great post! I am seeing you healing and growing right before my eyes! praise God!

Diane said...

I will never make my sisters understand this directive! Margie, the post is simply beautiful and has so much insight and wisdom. I echo Cheryl's are walking through this time of trial and testing and growing every day. I am humbled to be a witness to all you're allowing the Lord to do in your soul and spirit. PTL!!!

Felisol - Elise Ljung said...

I agree with the sisters. This one brought tears to my eyes. Must tell it to my Mom. The best is yet to come.

Mrs.N said...

This is a wonderful, wonderful too...I'm crying too...