August 14, 2017

Tenting

Devotion for the Week...

I love camping in our tent. There's something about sleeping in a tent that feels wonderful and, believe it or not, luxurious to me. It's like sleeping directly outside, but with something to keep the bugs away, lol. Waking in the morning is my favourite part, when the tent is all warm and full of sunshine and the birds are chirping all around us.

That being said, I am also glad I live in a time when sleeping in a tent is a recreational thing and not an everyday thing. Especially since we live in Newfoundland, where the winters are cold and snowy. I love traveling around the province and exploring, but I don't think I would have loved living in a tent all the time, moving around as needed to find food, dependent on nothing but a tent and a fire to stay warm through the coldest months. I am grateful for my nice sturdy house when the wind is howling and the snow is falling!

The Bible sometimes refers to our physical bodies as tents. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 Paul wrote, "For 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." And Peter wrote, "I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me" (2 Peter 1:13, 14). 

What I find interesting about this analogy is that tents are not very sturdy; they're easily torn or destroyed. Those in the past who lived in tents full time would have had to be constantly repairing or replacing them. The older the tent, the more patches it would have had and the more work it would have taken to keep it functional. Isn't that just like our bodies? We get scraped and bruised, bones get broken, we get sick. Definitely, the older the body the harder it is to keep it functional!

The wonderful thing is, these tents we're living in now aren't what we'll be living in forever. Paul said that after this earthly tent is destroyed, we will have an eternal house, built by God. What a promise! When our bodies give out and we die, whether through sickness, old age or some tragic accident, our easily damaged earthly bodies will be replaced by something far, far better.

I also find it interesting that Peter referred to his coming death as a 'putting aside' of 'the tent of this body.'  While I don't think any of us welcome death, there's comfort in knowing that our physical death is not the end. Nor has it been the end for any of our loved ones who have already died. They've merely put aside the tent of their earthly bodies and are now in the eternal body made by God for them. Isn't it amazing to think of seeing them again, someday, after we have put aside our own earthly tents?
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

One more interesting thought is that tents are temporary. Even those who lived in tents all the time viewed them as temporary, though for them this was because they often moved around with the seasons, following their food sources. They would take their tents down, carry them to the next place and set them up again. For us, the tent of this body is temporary because when this life is over and we are in heaven with God, we will live forever in those eternal bodies He has made for us.

We can't really imagine what those eternal bodies will be like, but they can be sure they will be as different from our earthly bodies as my camping tent is from my house.

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