Day 30

Our Future After Death

from the 1 & 2 Corinthians reading plan


2 Corinthians 5:1-21, 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14

Last summer, we ventured out west where we spent about a week sleeping in a tent with our five children. Driving from Washington back home to Tennessee, we passed the base of Mt. Rainer, the Grand Tetons, and other increasingly brave and out-of-the-way places. As we were driving through the Yakima Valley one evening, we realized it was late and getting dark, and we hadn’t settled on a place to set up camp for the night. And so we stopped along the Naches River on an abandoned stretch of highway with tall hills on both sides of the camp.

By this point we had a travel system in place; everyone knew their job, so we all worked together quickly to set up our tent. Once we’d settled in, we realized we were not alone. Just a stone’s throw away, tucked behind the sagebrush, cooking hot dogs over a fire, was Frank. I helped the kids play/bathe in the river and helped them to some supper, while my husband, Caleb, introduced himself. Frank lived in his tent full-time and had a lot of really good ideas for long-term, electricity-free refrigeration. We exchanged kindnesses and small gifts, and fell asleep in our respective tents. For us, that night was the bravest, most rugged camping we’d ever logged. But for Frank, it was just a Tuesday.

I love the hope that Paul gives us in this passage from 2 Corinthians, because no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable we are in our earthly tents, they will all be packed up and folded away someday. Because of Jesus, this is not our home. The Father “made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Paul acknowledges that we are groaning in our earthly bodies, some of us living with pain that won’t go away until Jesus comes. Some of us carrying a weight of sadness that makes us long to go home. No matter what kind of tent we are living in, it will be destroyed.

The thought of my own death fills me with concern for my children. But setting that hefty thought aside and clinging to the truth Paul is teaching in this passage, I see that our earthly death means the ending of a short, uncomfortable camping trip, and the joy and relief of finally going home—where things are clean and warm and beautiful, and there’s good food and good company. But we have never seen it. So we hold on to our tents, even though they are fraying and growing holes and starting to let the rain in. These tents are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But they are not the final stop. In the meantime, Paul says, we sit in our tents and we groan.

But Paul exhorts us, “So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6). While we are still here on earth in these awesome and leaky bodies, biding our time, we have the mighty hope of our future eternal home with Christ. During these camping days, we aim to be pleasing to Him and long for the day when He will finally bring us home.

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40 thoughts on "Our Future After Death"

  1. Angie Graham says:

    This is awesome and so true! We will never be truly comfortable here on earth but oh what a day when we get to be in our Heavenly home! I have the same feeling of concern for our kids and GRANDkids but laying that aside, I do long to meet my Savior face to face!

  2. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that during the day to day hustle and bustle, I can remember this is not my home. I don’t want to strive for complete comfortability here, I am not suppose to find it here.

  3. Amy Cerra says:

    This reading landed in the reading plan on the day we took my dad off life support after he suffered a massive stroke a little over a month ago. I am reading these passages again and marvel at the timing. That night my mom asked me if I had any scripture to read as we sat around Dad’s hospital bed. I had just looked at my app and couldn’t believe the timing. My Dad was an avid outdoorsman and we spent our entire childhoods to present going on camping trips with Dad. I read aloud the scripture and devotional to my family and my beloved Dad. Praise God for his timing in reminding us that our beloved father and husband was leaving a tattered tent to abide with the Son in a new building not built by hands!

    1. Chris says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your dads passing. I LOVE how Gods timing so often aligns with our needs through word or song. Blessings and peace to your family as you walk this new road ❤️

  4. Penny says:

    As I read the passages and the thoughts that accompany them I thought of my mom. She’ll be at home with the Lord a year in October, but last year her earthly body was giving way and it was so hard to watch my once vibrant Mom with knitting needles always in her hands waste away.
    This world is not our home, and this earthly tent will someday be replaced with an eternal house not made by human hands. And in that sweet promise we can safely rest.

  5. Cori S. says:

    With my power out for the past 24 hours, I’ve felt like I’m basically camping, hah! Certainly groaning in my “earthly tent.”

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