Yes, "The Hub" and I recently went on a camping trip.
In which I slept in a sleeping bag, on an air mattress, outdoors.
Can I get a *huzzah* from those of you in the "arthritically-challenged" crowd out there?!
Now don't get me wrong. I like camping…a lot.
But I am finding it harder to deal with some of the harsher aspects of "roughing it."
Like the weather.
This past trip we were challenged indeed.
About an hour after we arrived and set up our carefully planned-out bivouac, we got hit with gale-force winds.
Again with the wind.
I seem to be attracting the wind lately. Maybe it's all the hot air that comes out of my mouth. (No comment).
That blistering wind lasted all that first night, all the next day and night. It finally disappeared on the second morning. That was when "The Hub" gently told me upon wakening that it was raining.
Well, that's what he said at first. When he opened the tent door, he changed his mind:
"Oh, I take that back. It's snowing."
That entire day I watched snowflakes pour down while I froze in my down jacket.
Fortunately the wind died down enough that we were able to have a campfire that night. Otherwise, it was freeeeezing cold.
What happened the next day? Hot, sunny weather. I ended up getting sunburned.
"The Hub" and I haven't gone camping for almost 3 years. Buying and selling houses, moving to the mountains, family stuff – well, the last 3 years have gone by fast. So, I'd forgotten some of the things that I love (and dislike) about tent camping.
I love being away from technology – no phone, no computer. I love reading and doing crossword puzzles outdoors. I love the slower pace, and the sounds of the forest. I love sitting by the campfire at night. I love curling up next to "The Hub" in a sleeping bag at night, pulling on my warm hat and gloves, and burying my head in a pillow.
I'm not so fond of the aches and pains I get upon waking up!
We had a great time. But, as all good things must come to an end, the day came for dismantling and repacking all our gear. Trust me, it's a time-consuming affair.
And, once again, it became a time of reflection for me.
This trip I reflected on how our humble tent had protected us from the elements. And believe me, we had some elements! We were sheltered from the wind and snow, shielded from the cold, and shaded from the sun.
A tent is a good place to be.
But then, of course, there comes a time to fold up and return home.
See, that's the part that I reflected on.
The whole idea of a tent being but temporary housing. Useful for its time, but not really and truly home.
I got to thinking about how the Bible calls these bodies of ours "tents." Temporary housing until it's time to return home.
I got to thinking about dying.
Most of you know that I really struggle with a fear of dying.
O me of little faith.
Yes, I truly know what I believe, and I believe it truly. But still, dying is scary to me. Unknown and unknowable.
But for the promises of God, I think I would exist in a permanent state of panic.
However, I've contemplated death a lot more since my dad passed away. About how it seems so final, but how it's not. About what the true *person* is that exists in the body.
I never mentioned this before, but the last time I saw my dad was kinda weird. I had been called back to the rehab facility late one night because he was so agitated. I was able to calm him somewhat until his pain medication kicked in. And then, he just sorta faded out. I actually thought for a second that maybe he had died. (Little did I know how close he was to heaven's gates.)
And that's how it is.
Here one second, and gone the next.
Moved out of our tent, and on our way home – all in the twinkling of an eye.
In this book that I was reading while camping, I came upon this quote:
"Death is but the path to God."
When I read that, I cried. It just sounded so beautiful.
And I had this awesome picture of Jesus just waiting for me, waiting to hold me in His arms.
Do I make Him sad when I fear coming home to Him?
Does He mourn that it seems I'm not as eager to see Him as He is to see me?
Does it frustrate Him that I am sometimes more attached to this sin-filled world than I should be?
Does He wonder how I can call this Shadowland "life" – when He Himself is The Life?
Does He pray for me to understand more fully what freedom from the sting of death really means?
Does He shake His head sometimes and say to Himself: "Oh, if she only knew…"
I think He does.
As we were packing up our stuff, and especially when we were breaking down our tent, I began to realize yet again that this world is just a temporary place. And my body is but a tent, waiting to be folded up so I can go home.
I cry as I write that word. Something deep inside is moved by the thought of it. And I am filled with joy at the sure and confident knowledge that I do indeed have a heavenly home.
And a loving Savior.
Waiting just for me.
Jesus, Only You.
Home sweet home...
...until it's time to go home.
"Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying." (Hebrews 2:14-15, NLT)
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies...While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies...Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life...So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 4, 6, NLT)
"Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it."
(1 Peter 2:11, MSG)
"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come." (Hebrews 13:14, NLT)
"...our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ..." (Philippians 3:20, ESV)
"'Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 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 14:1-3, NASB)
What's your perspective on dying, and what do you looking forward to the most about going *home*?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Laura at PLAYDATES WITH GOD
Kelli at UNFORCED RHYTHMS
Jen at UNITE
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Jen at SOLI DEO GLORIA
Kathy at TITUS 2 TUESDAYS
Rosilind at A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS
Kasey at WALKING REDEEMED
Judith at WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Jenifer at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Beth at THREE WORD WEDNESDAY
Holley at COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART
Lyli at THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY
Crystal at THRIVING THURSDAY
Bonnie at FAITH BARISTA JAM
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Julie at FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Sandy at STILL SATURDAY
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
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