1 For 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. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
“While we are in this tent [our present physical bodies], we groan and are burdened.”
“Groan” (Greek, stenazo) has the idea of being confined in a tight place. It is the groaning that comes from feeling trapped and unable to move freely.
“Burdened” (Greek, bareo) has the idea of carrying a large, heavy weight. It is being loaded down or feeling depressed.
Paul says that in this life, in our present physical bodies, we struggle with frustration and depression, with feeling trapped and feeling overwhelmed. Ever feel like that? If so, then, you are human. You are normal. You are struggling with life on this sin-impacted earth with a body riddled with sin and with death. Welcome to life on earth.
What are we longing for? We are longing for real life, for a new body, for freedom from sin. Our search for peace, our desire for good health, our sorrow over death, our hunger for satisfaction, our sense that there must be something more in this life, are all evidence that we were created for paradise, for perfect relationship with God and with others, for abundant life in Christ.
C.S. Lewis once said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
We were made for Eden. We live in the wasteland.
Yes, there is evidence of God’s beauty all around us. There is much that we can enjoy on this earth. And His image abides in us still. But like a jewel lying in a landfill, the glory is there but it is surrounded by the refuse and corruption of sin.
So where is our joy? Where is our hope? It is not in this world. It is not in politics, or in our health, or in our possessions, or in our job, or even in in our family. It must ultimately be in God. We look to Him alone. He is our light, our song, our salvation. He has promised us “an eternal house in heaven,” a new body, a resurrected body fashioned after the resurrection body of Jesus Christ, unaffected by sin, fatigue, disease, or death. This is our hope.
And He has given us His Holy Spirit, a taste of heaven on earth. The Spirit is our strength, comfort, counselor while we walk this earth. He is our deposit from God. He is our source of joy.
So in the midst of our frustration and depression, we look forward with hope and we move forward with joy. Because we know that this tent is not our home. We are camping out until we reach Paradise.
Lord, thank You for Your promise. Thank You for Your Spirit. Fill me now so that I can live in love, peace, and joy today.