“As soon as Joseph arrived,
he embraced his father
and wept on his shoulder for a long time.”
Genesis 46:29b NLT
Have you ever read the same book at two different points in your life? Maybe you read Lord of the Flies for the first time in High School English and then you read it again after you’d had kids… or babysat someone’s kids… or became a teacher… What a different perspective that book takes on, eh? There are a lot of books, movies, vacations, restaurants, etc. that I didn’t appreciate then as much as I do now.
This past week I wrapped up reading Joseph’s life story in Genesis (ch. 37-50). This is an account that I’ve been taught from little on, as well as having read it myself numerous times. But the reunion of Joseph and his father Jacob has NEVER shook me like it did this week.
- Joseph was GONE. As far as father Jacob knew, he would never hug his son again. He wouldn’t get to watch him grow into a man he could be proud of. He was dead. Can you imagine how deep that father’s joy would be to find out Joseph was still alive after so many years?!
- And for Joseph – how would it have felt to be ripped from the care and loving concern of a family and thrown instead into a bond of slavery. How many nights did he cry himself to sleep thinking of the life he would never have? And then one day to find out his Dad was still alive and he could see him?!
Where in your life have you experienced this level of heartache? Do you remember the depth of that pain? Can you imagine what it would feel like to have that loss returned to you?
It’s just one little verse, but take a moment to imagine the ache, the torture, the relief, the shock – everything that this one little moment carried with it:
“As soon as Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept on his shoulder for a long time.” (Genesis 46:29b NLT)
That embrace – can you imagine?! And “wept” is waaaaaaay too graceful a word for what I picture…
What if we gave that level of intention and depth to each hug we gave?
What if it wasn’t saved up for a moment beyond the grave but we made every word, every text, every smile carry the weight of how much we care for each other TODAY? What if each conversation with a loved one was a Jacob/Joseph level of appreciation for that person? I’m going to try it today. (Not the weeping part – hopefully – but definitely the unfiltered, honest, joy for the moment we’ve been given part.)
I bet that’s what God’s hug is going to be like when we first get to Heaven…
Dear Lord, what a crazy amount of time we waste on “tomorrow” when we have today right in front of us. I humbly ask you to remove all the barriers we’ve put on loving one another and teach us to flood every single moment with intention, gratitude, peace and joy. Make each conversation, each hug, each text we share be filled with the words we usually save for the funeral. Amen.