Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked. These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan.
But we don’t do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die. God is the one who makes all of this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it. So always be cheerful! As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. But we live by faith, not by what we see. We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:1-8 CEV)
During our time in the ministry, Tammy and I have lived in several states and homes. A few years ago I began to think, ‘Where would I want to live if I had the choice?’ I thought about sunny Florida and even tropical Hawaii. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is no earthly place I could live where I would finally feel like I am home. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians –“While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home.”
Paul refers to our earthly body as a ‘tent.’ Some translations call it a ‘tabernacle.’ The thought is that our earthly bodies are nothing more than a temporary dwelling place. They are weak, unstable and without much beauty and therefore we naturally long for something better. One day the Lord is going to give us that which is better. Scripture teaches us that He is going to transform these earthly tents into heavenly homes and He is going to let us live in a city called New Jerusalem.
“So always be cheerful!” Paul tells us. Don’t let the difficulties of this life drag you down because they also are only temporary. Don’t live like this is all there is. Fix your eyes on what is before you and know that one day, you will be at home with the Lord.
Many of us have loved ones who are already there. We naturally miss them, but we should also rejoice that they have finally been set free from their feeble bodies and are now at home with the Lord. One day, perhaps today, we too will be there and so shall we ever be with the Lord. “Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess 4:18)