The Believer’s Welcome in Heaven – Genesis 49:33

While watching a reality show with my husband, one of the contestants gave me a glimpse of what our entry into heaven might be like.

As he gripped his walking stick and described his struggles with hunger and weight loss, a woman approached from behind. She was there to congratulate him for being the final contestant in that season of Alone.

He’d been away from his family for weeks, and he looked worn and thin and spent. But that was a stark contrast to the brightness in his appearance moments later as he realized his wife stood by his side.

I won’t tell you which season of Alone I’m describing, in case you haven’t watched it yet, but as he encircled her in his arms and absorbed the reality of her presence, he said,

“You’re here!”

With a smile on her face, she searched his eyes and announced, “You won!” But it was like he didn’t hear her.

When interviewed later, the contestant said he didn’t process the fact he’d won the competition until hours later. It seems winning wasn’t important in those first moments with the woman he loved. Though enduring the separation and starvation to provide for his family, the prize money clearly wasn’t what his soul had hungered for.

And though the wilderness was rich with beauty and adventure, the one he loved and endured the hardships for was miles away. He struggled with his longing for her.

When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”

Genesis 49:33 ESV

Can you imagine what it will be like when we leave this life as we know it, and really see God? Will we be “gathered” by the ones we love, like the Alone contestant was?

I like imagining that I am, like Jacob, being gathered with my loved ones after finishing my earthly business, tucking my feet under my blanket, and arriving at my true home.

And I tell you [learn from this], make friends for yourselves [for eternity] . . . so . . .they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.”

Luke 16:9 AMP

I hope I never forget the look on the young man’s face when he turned and saw his wife. It showed a mixture of sorrow that he’d gone so long without her, and relief that he could now fully enjoy being with her. His ordeal was over.

In 2019, when my mother was days away from taking her final breath, she awoke and remarked, “Oh, I’m still here.” She seemed sincerely disappointed.

Can you imagine her relief when she finally did wake up to find herself gathered to people who were probably shouting,

“You’re here!”

I definitely want to see a replay of that scene.

Kathy Sheldon Davis

By Kathy Sheldon Davis

Kathy Sheldon Davis, contributing author of Jesus Talked to Me Today and a finalist for the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade award, lives with her husband, Jerry, in Oregon's fertile Willamette Valley. Kathy enjoys mentoring and editing for other writers, making strangers into friends, and celebrating holidays with her extended family. She has written for Pathways—Moments with God since 2016 and posts devotionals on her blog at kathysheldondavis.com .

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