“So, the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”
Matthew 20:16 (New American Standard Bible)
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my husband and I took a ride on Branson’s sight-seeing tour train. Due to COVID restrictions, only a few people were allowed at any given time to be on the train together. I made our trip arrangements relatively late, so we ended up being the last two people qualified for the 2 o’clock trip on that day.
Being the last to board the train placed us in the front two seats because, as it turned out, the conductor’s helpers sat people from the rear forward to keep people from having to pass one another as they were seated. So, here we were, the absolute last to gain entry that day, yet given the first seats on the train!
As soon as I sat down, I recalled how Jesus said that is the way the kingdom of heaven works. Jesus told us that the kingdom of heaven does not work like the kingdom of this world does. He taught us that the last would be the first and the first would be last. There is no partiality in the kingdom of God; everyone is on equal ground in heaven.
I smiled to myself as the train reached its destination because, to my surprise, instead of making a full loop, the train stopped, then reversed its way back to the station where it had first begun the journey; now we were last, yet we had been first.
If you are praying for your loved ones to know the Lord and to be counted among those in heaven one day, do not stop because although they may be entering later than some of us, they will still be first in God’s kingdom. I hope this encourages you today to see things a little differently than we usually do. Be encouraged, my friends, as the scriptures remind us, “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” 1 Corinthians 2:9