July 14 – Groaning for Better Accommodations

“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1-3 (NASB)

We need first to reflect back to the last verses in chapter 4. Paul writes of our physical body which is constantly in the process of decay and will eventually die. While he was referring to the normal aging process, he adds the emphasis that his lifestyle sped up that process. Sometimes it does. Perhaps we need to check and see if the activity that is speeding up the decay of our bodies is something of eternal value in the Kingdom? Or, is our effort amounting to nothing that brings glory to God? Paul’s metaphor for the physical body is understandable because many people were nomadic tent dwellers, and Paul the tentmaker knew much about tents. Paul had a passionate longing to be free and good reason to be eager of when he would be separated from his earthly body; its accompanying sins, frustrations, and relentless weaknesses. But what will be next for us? Unlike the pagans who thought the spirit is released into a nebulous infinity of nothingness, Paul makes clear that the as believers our hope for the next life is not a disembodied spiritual life, but a real, eternal, resurrection body in heaven with God.