I went tent-camping once.
I was in elementary school, and my dad was stationed at a Navy base in Spain. My parents wanted to see Portugal, but they couldn’t afford hotel fees.
So, we loaded our station wagon with tents and cooking supplies and set out for two of the most magical weeks of my young life.
We pitched our tents at beautiful campgrounds that had swimming pools and on-site bakeries. We visited Portuguese castles and traveled to Wales. But the real magic happened at night.
Alone in our tent, my brother and I liked to position our sleeping bags with our heads poking outside the tent flap. Then we lay on our backs and stared straight up at the blackest night skies I’d ever seen. The stars were brilliant. Glorious, even. They awakened a new sensation in me, something between wonder and longing.
That’s the kind of longing I think the apostle Paul was talking about when he referred to another kind of tent. He wasn’t talking about camping equipment. He was referring to our bodies when he said, “for in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:2).
Even when we’re not conscious of it, something deep inside us longs for Heaven. We know this isn’t our final home.
“For we know,” [Paul says to Christians], “that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
We’re just camping out for a while here on earth, and one day it’ll be time to pull up stakes. The Bible assures us that’s when we’ll finally see what we’ve been longing for―our eternal home. In the meantime, we can be “looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).