Our friend Miss Barb died last week and we had a memorial service for her today. Our pastor shared from 2 Corinthians 5:1-9. I had one of those moments where the words leap off the page and you see something you’ve never noticed before. Verse 4 says, “For we who are in this tent (our bodies) groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.”
Here it is in context:
FOR we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
Paul doesn’t seem to be saying that it is bad to live in a body even though our bodies do groan, or that our hope lies in getting rid of our bodies–God made our bodies, and everything He made was good. Paul points to a further clothing in a better body; one designed for living in God’s presence. In the meantime, God has given us the Holy Spirit, who helps us to walk by faith until we can walk by sight. Because we have the Spirit, we can please God whether we are with God or absent from Him.
I just thought it was so neat that it says we will be further clothed–it is good now but will be even better then. Life will swallow up our mortality. In the meantime I struggle to put my sinful desires to death, and I am thankful for the Spirit’s help.