"Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling...so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come...So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." 2 Corinthians 5:2,4b,5
Talk concerning leaving our earthly bodies is usually reserved for death bed discussions. We comfort ourselves or loved ones with the assurance that our dying brings hope for a future with Christ. We hold to the promise made in Scripture that in heaven there will be no suffering, no pain, no sorrow. We will shed this earthly shell and trade it in for a heavenly body, made whole and perfect in God's sight and for the purpose He intended.
If we are honest with ourselves we don't like to think about it much, let alone talk about leaving the comfort of our earthly "homes." It's what we know. It's what brings us comfort. It's what we've grown accustomed to and love, for the most part.
There's those perfect days that we enjoy the beauty of creation on a summer's day; the birth of a new child or the comfort of our lover's embrace. But what to do on those days that life is not so beautiful or perfect? Are those days the life we're promised forever? Who wants to stay in the midst of crisis or trouble?
We are deceived, even on the good days, to think this world is perfect as it is. It's not as it once was in The Garden or as God intended it to be. When in the midst of trouble our hearts are then pressed to wonder if there's more to life than this?
Paul knows-he is confident-that in the hope of the resurrection of Christ our earthly homes will pass away. These shells we call our own-our bodies we've grown accustomed to-will someday be discarded, returned to dust. Or, perchance we will be fortunate to witness our transformation, in an instant when He returns? So, if we place our hope in Christ these earthly homes we should not love more than the One who will transform them into His likeness; the One who now prepares our eternal homes.
It's hard to put our faith in things we aren't sure about or haven't seen with our own eyes. It's hard to think that on the sweetest days life could get any better. But Scripture says it will. What we see, what we know now is only a foretaste of what is yet to be and for all eternity.
"We live by faith and not by sight...So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." 2 Corinthians 5:7,9