On my way to work recently, I noticed that several new tents had sprouted on the sidewalk overnight. This got me thinking about an inner reality I rarely consider. That spiritually speaking, I am a transient as well.
The apostles Peter and Paul both referred to their bodies as earthly “tents.” It’s easy to relate to this metaphor. “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14 ESV). I John 5:19 says that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” A contemporary way of saying this is that believers are transients dwelling as squatters in a hostile world.
I have trouble grasping this concept sometimes. Unlike street people painfully aware of their situation, my comfortable house makes it easy to forget that I am a traveler “just passing through.” That this world is not actually home. That any sense of permanence is an illusion.
The homeless know that they are
Every day I must cultivate a similar awareness of my need. For the cross, for my Rescuer, understanding that without Him I am powerless.
One thing about transients is that they do not fit in with respectable society. They live as outcasts . . .
- or worse . . .
Jesus was technically homeless. He had no place to lay his head. The words above also describe his journey on earth. As a Christ follower I ask myself, “Am I willing to share this kind of stigma as well?” If I truly love Him, the answer will be yes. Romans 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Speaking of transient living, every human being is a traveler in this world. The question is which train to hop. With only two destinations, we must select the right train. The Station Master is continually calling all aboard for the train marked “Citizenship in Heaven.” How wonderful that He does not want to see anyone left behind.
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” (II Corinthians 5:1).