You ever slept in a tent?

Whether it was in your back yard, out by the lake, or at a national park, all tents, great and small, have one thing in  common—they are not designed for permanent dwelling.

The first tent I ever slept in was a two-man pup tent. It was small and very simple. Basically, a triangular tarp that we set up in our back yard. It was great fun when I was seven.

Today’s tents are like the Taj Mahal compared to that one. The one we currently have sleeps eight and probably could fit 3-4 of my pup tents inside. While they are very different tents, they both remain temporary places.

Today’s tents can be wonderfully engineered. But, as nice as they are, none of them is meant to last forever. Even if you are an avid camper with a nice tent, you’ll still have to replace it sooner or later.

A tent is something you stay in for a while, typically on a journey. It is a portable place to live until you get home. While it serves a purpose for a time, most people would not want to live in one permanently. Even the nicest tent can’t compare with the simplest home.

Whether you’re a camping enthusiast or more of an “indoorsy” person, you and I all live in tents. Oh, not the kind with poles, stakes, zippers, and flaps. More like the kind with skin, hair, fingers and toes.

Not to make light of it. The human body is an astounding creation of God. Down to the molecular level, it is truly a marvel to behold. What other machine does as many versatile things, self-maintains, self-repairs, and averages a 75-year lifespan?

Yet for all that it is, there is one thing that it isn’t—permanent.

Paul, put it this way: “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.” (2 Corinthians 5.1-4)

Paul calls our mortal bodies earthly tents. And as all tents, they are not designed to be permanent. Someday you and I will leave our temporary tents and head to our lasting, eternal home.

If our “tent” is made like this, just imagine what our permanent home in heaven must be like! I don’t know what type of tent you live in—whether it’s young and new, or old and worn out. But your real home, the one God created for you to live in forever, will be out of this world!