Recently I spent a week in the Hospital recovering from surgery. I waited on this procedure for over a year, and was in quite a bit of pain during this long wait. My family and friends were a huge support to me, and my Pastor and Church were there for me in ways only God could have orchestrated. I am so thankful to them but I was especially helped by a small book my Pastor brought me. It’s by Dave and Jan Dravecky and it’s called “Do not lose Heart”. Meditations of encouragement and comfort.
This book, written during Dave’s battle with cancer is a gem of encouragement and strength. Struggling through so much pain and fear, I am humbled reading about the journey the Dravecky’s faced but blessed to be able to read about God’s promises and comforts in their lives and encouraged knowing those same promises are available for any child of the King. This small excerpt I am sharing today is just one little treasure found in this book.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
1 For we know 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 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee
In the midst of tremendous fear, doubt and worry I laid hold of God’s promise of “A heavenly dwelling”. I took my disintegrating tent and I camped on the deed God had given me for a new home. I knew the Spirit lived within me, and I knew the Bible likens the Spirit to “a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” As hard as it was to face the very real possibility of my imminent death, this was a great comfort to me
The messages in these scriptures from 1 Corinthians helped me get through my ordeal with Cancer. Speaking of comfort…and tents and houses, I want to share the following piece, titled “O Mr. Tentmaker.” I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.
It was nice living in this tent when it was strong and secure and the sun was shining and the air was warm.
But Mr. Tentmaker, it’s scary now.
You see, my tent is acting like it is not going to hold together; the poles seem weak and they shift with the wind. A couple of stakes have wiggled loose from the sand; and worst of all, the canvas has a rip. It no longer protects me from the beating rain or stinging fly.
It’s scary in here, Mr. Tentmaker.
Last week I went to the repair shop and some repairman tried to patch the rip in my canvas. It didn’t help much, though, because the patch pulled away from the edges and now the tear is worse.
What troubled me most, Mr. Tentmaker, is that the repairman didn’t even seem to notice that I was still in the tent; he just worked on the canvas while I shivered inside. I cried once, but no one heard me.
I guess my first real question is: Why did you give me such a flimsy tent? I can see by looking around the campground that some of the tents are much stronger and more stable than mine.
Why, Mr. Tentmaker, did you pick a tent of such poor quality for me? And even more important, what do you intend to do about it?
O Little tent dweller, as the Creator and Provider of tents, I know all about you and your tent, and I love you both.
I made a tent for Myself once, and lived in it in your campground. My tent was vulnerable too, and some vicious attackers ripped it to pieces while I was still in it.
It was a terrible experience but you will be glad to know they couldn’t hurt me; in fact, the whole occurrence was a tremendous advantage because it is this very victory over my enemy that frees me to be a present to help to you.
O little tent dweller, I am now prepared to come and live in your tent with you, if you’ll invite me. You’ll learn as we dwell together that real security comes from my being in your tent with you.
When the storms come, you can huddle in my arms and I’ll hold you. When the canvas rips, we’ll go to the repair shop together.
Some day, little tent dweller, some day your tent is going to collapse; you see, I’ve designed it only for temporary use.
But when it does, you and I are going to leave together. I promise not to leave before you do.
And then, free of all that would hinder or restrict, we will move to our permanent home and together, forever, we will rejoice and be glad.