Our Temporary Homes

by Sarah Nelson

“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 Corinthians 5:1

We’re a few days away from our house in Michigan being sold and a few weeks away from the closing on our new home here in Oregon.  The past few months we have set up house in a sweet but small rental home.  The pancake griddle is housed in the garage, the panini maker in the master bedroom, and boxes holding things we keep wondering about are tucked too far back in storage to get them out.  Living just a few minutes from a state park and the ocean, it truly feels like we’ve been camping out, (with the luxury of our own bed and bathroom).

As excited as I am that our house in Michigan (and it’s mortgage) will no longer be ours,  my heart wanes nostalgic when I think of all the memories that we made there and that as of the final sale, no more Nelson family get-togethers will be held under that roof.  While I am so very much looking forward to settling in to our new not too small, not too big house and making it our home, I realize that it too is a temporary dwelling.

As birthdays go by and health challenges have been added to my life’s resume, I’m reminded (and  sometimes painfully so), that my body is temporary.   While taking good care of it by nourishing it correctly, exercising it properly, medicating it as necessary, and resting it, my body and yours will wear out.   This past year because of a health crisis, a lot of my time, energy, and focus has been devoted towards taking care of my body.   Temporary efforts to improve the quality of life this side of eternity.

Houses, bodies, circumstances, they are all temporary dear sisters!  Does this mean they are not important?  No!  They are a reflection of God’s design and artistry, and are to be used for His glory and honor. We live lives of gratitude when we care for and cherish the bodies, homes, and temporal blessings God has given to us.   Sometimes though, we can all too quickly forget that the homes we live in, the bodies that we inhabit, and the possessions we count as ours, are not all there is.  Our real home is heaven where eternity will be made known in it’s fullness to us.  As we tend to all that He has given us during this earthly life, let us remember that we have a permanent and forever gift in our salvation.  A salvation that endures throughout eternity!

What’s Your Response?

CHALLENGES have been bombarding! CIRCUMSTANCES are crowding in! People are passing along their ANXIETY, FEAR, FRUSTRATION and ANGER my direction! Life seems a tad OVERWHELMING I cannot handle it!

Does any of this sound familiar? As challenges and circumstances overtake us, we do not need to be overwhelmed. As we work with people, we will not have perfect relationships because people are not perfect. We must point ourselves to the Word of God to see how He would have us respond.

While reading Galatians 5, the Holy Spirit changed my mind to a new way of thinking.

Stand fast in the liberty the Lord has given me. I have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to choose a different response to life and people. I can rise above circumstances, as if I was not involved in them, so the Holy Spirit and I can choose a different response. I do not need to take on other people’s anxiety, fear, frustration or anger. I do not need to be anxious, fearful, frustrated or angry. I can help them by asking them how I can pray for them instead. Satan is prowling around ~ seeking whom he may devour ~ that’s us Christian. (1 Peter 5:8) Satan does not want me to have the victory but I CAN have victory through the Lord!

Don’t be tangled up with my past way of doing things which really is bondage. The Lord can give me a new path to follow ~ a new way of doing things.

When you stumble, you may ask, “I ran well … what happened? Who made me stumble from obeying the truth?” The Bible says, “That response did not come from the Lord!”

The Lord and I will have another mind ~ another way of thinking as I allow Him to change me. I need to stop and pray. He will transform my thinking as I read His Word. (Romans 12:2)

The one who troubles me will bear his own judgment. The Lord will deal with the other person’s responses to life. I just need to forgive them.

I should not bite and devour anyone so I will not be consumed by anyone. I need to serve others through love instead whether that is through prayer, giving them a Bible verse, meeting a physical need, etc. I need to love my neighbor as myself.

I have the freedom to choose the right way to live so here are God’s strong words to us …

WALK IN THE SPIRIT! It kills fleshly ways!