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.
2 Corinthians 5:1
An Eternal House
My father would sometimes take me camping while I was growing up. We went often enough that I don’t remember every camping trip. But there is one I will likely never forget.
We borrowed a tent from a friend. When we arrived at the campsite and began to set up, we realized that some of the tent poles were missing. So my father grabbed some rope from the trunk of the car and used it to tie parts of the tent to tree branches to hold it up. We finished setting up the tent just in time for dinner, which is when we were attacked by hungry seagulls dive-bombing at our hotdogs. Evening finally came, which is when a thunderstorm rolled in and revealed two things: we hadn’t tied down the tent as securely as we had thought, and the tent wasn’t as waterproof as the packaging had promised. By midnight that evening, our camping trip was done, and we were back home resting comfortably in our own beds.
In today’s Bible verse, the apostle Paul compares our human bodies to a tent. Like the tent on our camping trip, they’re not entirely immune to destruction. We get sick, suffer injuries, get attacked by cancer, or some other debilitating diseases that dive-bomb into our lives. As healthy as we might eat, as often as we might exercise, we get to a point where our bodies don’t operate as quickly and pain-free as they did when we were young. And then, of course, every funeral is another reminder that one day death will roll in like a powerful thunderstorm and completely overwhelm our fragile bodies.
But Paul also tells us that our bodies are simply tents. As long as we’re in them, we’re never really at home. But one day, we will be. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our heavenly Father forgave our sin and gave us the right to look forward to our eventual arrival at an eternal house in heaven, where we will finally rest comfortably.
Dear Father in heaven, when I am reminded of how fragile my body really is, keep my faith focused on the eternal and perfect home you have prepared for me through Jesus Christ. Amen.