Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This Old Tent
The words of a dear "blog" friend have been weighing on my heart for a week now, and I remember her in prayer. The Lord truly uses her as a beacon of encouragement to so many others. Check out her latest blog at Everyday Simple Abundance.
So after reading her blog and listening to my pastor's sermon, I was moved to write. We live in this tent, this body, but remember it is only temporary. I thought about how I am never pleased with the way I look, or sometimes I get frustrated with the fact that I have to struggle with some physical ailments. 2 Corinthians says this:
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. "
My husband said after reading this again on Sunday he felt justified in his moaning and groaning. LOL! Truth be told, God made us this way and has given us a deposit, the Spirit, and with that deposit He planted a seed of eternity in us. Because of this, we long for our permanent home. (hence the groaning)! Friends, this is our tent, (not meant to be a permanent dwelling place) we are not supposed to love it! Does that set you free or what!?!
Let me show you what the rest of that section in 2 Corinthians says: "Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."
In my opinion, we have so much to look forward to. Do you remember what it was like looking forward to Christmas (before you were responsible for buying the presents)! I am in that same place today. Some of my family/friends are coming to visit in March. I can hardly contain the excitement. That is how we should feel about moving into our permanent home. That same sense of excitement and anticipation! We live by faith, not by sight. I love that God has purposed us to be just uncomfortable enough so that we long for eternity! You see that makes rejoicing in our sufferings that much more palatable.
You know, now that I think about it, it applies to all of our struggles, not just physical, but financial and emotional issues too, whatever we struggle with this side of heaven. None of this is permanent, it is all temporary. What is permanent is our relationship with the Lord and with His body. That is why the verse says to make it our goal to please Him!
I'm encouraged today, how about you?
Let me end with the verse from Revelations 21:1-8.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."