Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 18, 2019

Watching all the Girls go by, You and Your Tent

School Girl

You are Not Your Tent

It is easy to fall into a trap, the trap of associating the tent with its occupant. While that is easy to understand, as the tent is all we can see, it is important to remember the truth about who and what we are; we are spirit beings created in the image of God who temporarily occupy a body of this earth; a body designed to be sustained by the products of the earth and which are strictly a temporary dwelling place for our eternal spirits!

I love the way David expressed his wonder about the amazing works of God, where in Psalms 139:13-17 he wrote:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!

It is also important to remember, as spirit beings, we cannot be harmed by physical means, there is nothing, of this earth, that can touch us or harm us in any way at all. Our mortal bodies are another matter entirely, they can indeed be touched and harmed and even destroyed by things of this earth as they are of this earth while we are of God.

I’m reminded of the news alert where it is announced that a house burned down but no one was home so there were no injuries or deaths. Our tents are empty when they stop living; our spirits have departed and left an empty tent behind; in fact, it is the departure of our spirits which creates the situation called death, which is sometimes referred to in the Bible as sleep. I am saddened when I see a family in great sorrow over the loss of a loved one as if the departed one was the tent they had occupied for a time.

As Christians, we return to our Lord and are present with him at the moment of death; the tents we leave behind were never to be anything more than a temporary shelter. Paul expresses this thought beautifully in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 where it is written:

“6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For 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.”

A Personal Example

Our first son, a devoted Christian, died of an inoperable brain cancer in 1985; he had fought the cancer, a grade three Astrocytoma, for over four years but the cancer was not to be denied. He was admitted to a hospice as the end of his mortal life approached; it was on a Sunday evening and the immediate family was gathered around him as he breathed his last. I led in prayer and asked the Lord to give us the strength to demonstrate the abundant sufficiency of God’s grace in our time of testing.

His funeral was three days later and several members of the family had chosen to speak at the funeral. When I spoke I said the last three days have been the happiest days of our son’s life and I meant that with all my heart. He had arrived at home and was enjoying sights and sounds we cannot even imagine. After the funeral, the family formed a line at the exit and thanked the attendees for coming to the funeral as they left the service.

We had wanted that service to be the celebration of a life that had brought so much joy to us, not mourning the loss of a beloved son; we wanted it understood that this was not the end for our son, but only the beginning of a new phase of his life! By God’s all-sufficient grace, I believe he honored my prayer. There was sadness, and it was a life-changing time, but it was also a time of hope and rejoicing in the promises to come.

His picture is on my desk and not a day goes by I don’t miss him; but I have the confident knowledge that someday I will see him again. While his tent has returned to the earth from whence it came; he is at home with the Lord and enjoying the rich blessings of heaven. My wife and I rejoice in our younger son and his family and our daughter and her family; their presence in our lives brings great joy to us both!

At a time, known only to God, this will all change; Paul speaks of this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where it is written:

“13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Next time, “Living at Peace with your Tent.”


Responses

  1. AMEN! EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS!
    My husband, Steve and I attended his Aunt Louise and Uncle Ray’s memorial on Saturday which would have been their 63rd wedding anniversary. Aunt Louise had Alzheimer’s and passed last April. Aunt Louise’s memorial was postponed because Uncle Ray had been in and out of the hospital and then he passed this February. It was a lovely celebration of their life and their service to others! The memorial was a joyous occasion for the family because we know where Aunt Louise and Uncle Ray are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christians have everything to anticipate with joy and thanksgiving; it is a privilege to honor our Lord by our faith in him.

      Like

  2. Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One of several memorable occasions for our little family!

    Like

  6. *Thanks, David, for sharing this. Yes, even so come, Lord Jesus.*

    *Gloria*

    On Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 6:41 AM davidbowerkingwood wrote:

    > davidbowerkingwood posted: “School Girl You are Not Your Tent It is easy > to fall into a trap, the trap of associating the tent with its occupant. > While that is easy to understand, as the tent is all we can see, it is > important to remember the truth about who and what we are; we ar” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen to the Lord’s return! The last part will be published tomorrow D.V.

      Good to hear from you,

      David

      Like


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