There's an old story about an elderly woman who was told by her physician that she probably wouldn't live much longer. Soon thereafter, she called in her family to discuss her funeral arrangements. They talked about how the service would be, where she would be buried, what kind of casket would be used, etc. As the conversation was winding down, the woman remarked, "There's one thing that's very important: I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

Her children were understandably puzzled by that remark, and one of them couldn't contain his curiosity. "Mom," he said, "what are you talking about?"

"I remember eating with my family when I was a young girl," the woman began, "Each of us would help clear away the dishes. Every once in a while, mom would tell us, 'Save your fork!' We children knew what that meant. It meant that mom had fixed us a pie or a cake or some sort of treat. When she said 'Save your fork!' that meant the best was yet to come. So I want to be buried with a fork in my hand, for the best is yet to come!"

It's a lovely story, a beautiful illustration of hope. In Spanish, the word "esperar" means "hope," but it also means "wait." You wait for a bus, and you hope it's coming; the same word is used in both cases. It's the same in the biblical languages. Our hope is built around the expectation of something that is to come.

The apostle Paul wrote to a group of new Christians in the city of Thessalonica, talking of the reputation these Christians had. He wrote, "They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven" (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). That's a beautiful description of a Christian's life: turning away from an old life, serving God and waiting for Jesus to come back. We have hope because we are waiting for someone. He will bring us something wonderful, a life without pain or sadness.

The best is yet to come
We have hope because we know the best is yet to come. We have hope because we are waiting, waiting for our Lord to come back. If you don't have this hope, you need to learn what we Christians are waiting for. Write to me at or visit our blog on Oh… and save your fork!

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