Our presence can be described as an ‘earthly tent’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

The fresh coolness in the morning air here in Andalusia is letting us know fall is here and winter is coming. The months of October and November are my favorite months of the year – and not just because of football! I love the gentle cool breezes that refresh after the heat of long summer days. I also love the subtle changes in the color of the leaves as they begin to display their beauty.

Have you noticed the days are getting shorter? Our shortened days and cool nights have sent an alarm to our lovely green trees that it is time to color up! It is almost time for our trees to live off of the food they have stored during the summer and shut down their food- making factories. Recently, I read in Science Made Simple, that when this happens, the green chlorophyll will begin to fade, and we will see the yellow and orange of fall. The article stated further that the yellow and orange have been in the leaves already, but not seen because of the green chlorophyll. The article further stated that the red and purple color comes from glucose being trapped in the leaves. Whatever the reason, fall is beautiful and I love the marvelous display of color. The beautiful colors are temporary at best. I have learned to enjoy the beauty as much as I can because the season of color passes quickly as fall becomes winter.

As a boy I had the fun of being in a local Boy Scout troop. One year our troop decided to go on a camp out during the fall. All of us guys were excited about being in the woods for several days. Of course we had to pitch our tent, gather wood and build a fire so we could cook our food and have a place to retire for the night. Being good scouts we all took pride in being prepared. We had a long list of supplies that would come in handy for any situation we would encounter in the woods. However, we were not prepared for what happened. The temperature dropped during the night to a record low. We all almost froze. I remember being huddled up in my tent wanting to be in the comfort of my own home and wanting the warmth of my own bed. At that moment in the woods I was not captivated by the beautiful fall colors. I was not excited about being in a tent in the woods. I longed for the safety, security and warmth of home.

The thought of being huddled in this tent as a young boy came back to me recently as I was reading in 2 Corinthians. The fifth chapter begins by saying: “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.” Our existence in this present world at best is described as an “earthly tent.” Whether the meaning of this “earthly tent” refers to our body or to our life here on earth, the thought of scripture is the same. This is a temporary existence for all of us. Our time on earth is limited. As the leaves of fall, we only display our color for a short time. However, the assurance from this scripture is, “if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God”.

This “building from God” speaks of things more permanent.  The ‘building’ could be heaven itself or maybe even our new glorified body, the thought is still the same; this will be our permanent reality in the presence of God. We have an eternal house in heaven, “not built by human hands.” How does a temporary tent compare with a building made by God Himself? I think there is no comparison! A difference even greater than my Boy Scout tent where I slept on the ground and almost froze, compared to my comfortable warm home and soft bed.

Remember during this fall season as you see the beautiful colors change that our time on this earth is temporary. However, we have a permanent building that is made by God waiting for us! If you have never come to a place in your life where you are certain of eternal life, please trust Christ today. This life is temporary,

God’s eternal home is forever.