A YOUNG LADY I KNEW DIED THIS WEEK. She was 49 years old, far too young to die, I think. She edited children’s material for a Protestant denomination.
We used to work on the same floor many years ago. I lost touch with her. When I heard on Monday that she died, I went to her Facebook page to catch up.
I saw that she had struggled through a lot of illnesses. She lost her eyesight several years ago, and eventually moved back in with her parents. She fell, broke bones, and developed infections, including a fungus in her esophagus. Over the past several years she and her friends both asked people to remember her in prayer.
One of the most heart-wrenching requests was one she had to dictate because her sight had finally left her. Spelling errors made it clear that she was not able to see the similar-sounding words that the software used instead of the words she intended.
That made the blindness real to me as I read her story in the posts.
There are other people I know who are suffering with fragile and painful bodies.
Family members. Friends. Distant acquaintances. Every one of whom I care about.
As I continue to paraphrase my way through 2 Corinthians, for the Casual English Bible, chapter five greeted me yesterday morning. Below is a first-draft paraphrase of the first nine verses.
The message caught my attention and captured my heart as I worked my way through Paul’s notes, one word at a time. With every word, I found myself thinking about the people I love who might find courage in what Paul had to say.
So I’ll stop talking now.
Upgraded bodies in heaven
“This physical body we call our home on earth is just a tent, a temporary place to live. One day the tent will come down, and we’ll die. But don’t worry. When that happens, God has a home waiting for us in the heavens. There’s nothing temporary about this new home. It’s eternal, not made by human hands.
We’re trapped inside these tents, and we groan about it. We want to move into our heavenly home.
I want you to know that once you step outside the tent, you’re not going to be standing there spirit-naked. You’re going to be stepping into a new house.
Here’s what I’m talking about. While we live in this tent of a body, we moan and groan over the struggles we face. We aren’t complaining because we have to suffer our way through life; we don’t want to die. We want to live again, in a new body. We want to trade in this mortal life for eternal life.
God himself prepared us for this upgrade. It’s going to happen. He guarantees it, and he gave us his Spirit to assure us that it’s true.
That’s why we’re always in great spirits, and bursting with confidence. We know that as long as we live in this body, we can’t be with the Lord.
We don’t live our life based on what we can see here. We live our life based on what we can’t see. We call that faith.
So we’re in good spirits. But I’ll tell you, we’d rather slip out of this body and go home to be with the Lord.
Yet, whether we’re here or there, our goal is the same. When God sees the kind of life we’re living, we want him to smile.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 Casual English Bible
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Max Werner
- Linda Arnold
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my newsletter.
Winners get to choose from a stack of titles.
Note to the winner: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.