Tents have been around since biblical times, but my memory of them only goes back to my childhood. My parents never took me camping, either.
Back then, Uncle Bert Smith had erected a tent on the side yard of his home. His father, my Grandpa Albert Smith, helped and all of the cousins invited neighbors to come to a “meetin’ of gospel preaching” to be held that night. It was a hot, star-lit, Iowa evening with lightning bugs and mosquitoes. We cousins, sisters, brothers and school pals sat on wooden makeshift benches with our young legs dangling down. I suppose we sang, “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “In the Garden.” We sipped homemade lemonade and ate icy cold watermelon when the service was over. What grand memories under the tent!
Last night, I stood under a different tent, the Succoth booth, celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (cf. Lev. 23). What a precious time of thanking God for His goodness. The Jewish people reflect on their wandering and time of tent dwelling, with no permanent home. As we take time out to remember former days, we see the goodness of God in our lives. One song says it best, “Roll back the curtain of memory now and then; Show me where you brought me from and where I could have been…”
Our bodies are referred to as “tents” that are temporary, too. For all true believers in Messiah Jesus, this dwelling place for our souls will be changed when He calls us home with the sound of the shofar, the trumpet sound. I’m listening…are you?
One other memory that I have about tents is a very personal one. My late husband took me into the “tent” of his prayer shawl and prayed for me prior to a pending back surgery. I’ll never forget that intimate moment with my late husband and in the presence of our heavenly Father.
Our earthly bodies, like tents, are temporary. As for me, I’ve never been a camper anyway; I’m more of a Hyatt Regency kind of girl, but even the hotels will someday be gone. In that day, I will move into the mansion Jesus is preparing for me…once I move out of this earthly body, this tent for my soul.
If you could describe your new “home” in heaven, what would it look like? I know that it has many rooms and the street out front is made of pure gold. Imagine the visitors you’ll entertain: King Jesus, loved ones, friends, King Solomon, the Rabbi Paul, and a host of angels.
I’m guessing that a lot of “tents” will never get sold on Ebay. Why not put in an offer on the best house in town (the New Jerusalem)? All you have to do is give God the key to your heart, accept His Son as payment for your sin. He sweeps everything clean, move-in ready for an eternal relationship with your very best Friend.
Leave the tent behind. Your mansion awaits.