A Word of Hope for a Troubled Heart

  • Monday, January 25, 2010
  • A tent is temporary but a house is permanent.

    It caught my eye last Wednesday evening as I flipped the lever on my blinker to signal a turn to my right. On the opposite corner of my intersection was a "basement house."

    In past times they were rather commonplace. A family would begin the construction project for their new house and, by intention, complete the basement, equipping it with all the bare essentials for the family to move in. Some form of temporary roofing would be applied. The family would then "settle in," living in cramped and less-than-ideal circumstances knowing that it would not be long before the upper portion of their dream would be completed.

    Sacrifices were made but contentment was secured because this was not "our 'for really' house" but simply our temporary dwelling as we waited for the promised abode. Such structures have become rather rare. Much of that is probably due to construction guidelines and building permits and all. But there it was, a basement house...low in the ground with sliver-windows and a steep roof who's eves were barely two feet off the ground and who's pitch rose high to accommodate a family entry way. From appearances, it has been quite some time since any significant labor was expended to move beyond what was initially a "temporary" situation and not their "for really house." I wonder how the matron of that home feels about the passing of the years as she makes-do in her temporary home?

    I live in a temporary house. And I am not alone. YOU live in a "not for really house" also! Paul calls it "the earthly tent which is our house" (2 Corinthians 5:1). It is adequate for its purpose. It is doing its job. But it is not what we are really dreaming of. It is not proving to be everything that we long for. Paul says that while we are living in this temporary house we groan because we know that God has prepared something much better and much more wonderful for us than this! In fact, this tent, our temporary home, is not getting better. Instead, it is deteriorating every single day. Be honest with yourself. Isn't it true that when you looked in the mirror this morning as you prepared to present your "tent" to your world that you were a bit disappointed in what you saw? Come on...I know most of you! You sneaked a little tug on the jowls wondering what it would cost for a "nip and a tuck"! You pinched right in front of your ears to see if pulling just a LITTLE bit of that sagging flesh back might not erase a decade or two! Did you quickly pull your shirt over your head, your back to the mirror so as to avoid the painful reality that the middle of your "tent" was starting to show a bit of sag?

    A tent is temporary but a house is permanent. While we live in this "not our for really house" we long for our heavenly home. And we know that we have one because Jesus TOLD us we would! "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:3).

    "Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in this body we are absent from the Lord-we are of good courage, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:6,8).

    While preparing my message one evening, Tate and Chloe decided they would like to help me. They picked up my hi-liters and began to write "notes." So I asked, "Coco, if you could preach to the people, what would you tell them about Jesus?" Her immediate reply was, "I would tell them Jesus died on the cross. And He's going to build us a house!"

    A tent is temporary but a house is permanent. Coco would want you to know that Jesus DID die on the cross and now He IS building you a forever house!


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