Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Tent Tales

"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;" 

Isaiah 54:1-3

During our recent trip to Ohio, my dad sent our childhood tent home with us.  Now, this tent is over 25 years old, but it still looks good and seems barely worn at all.  The last time I used it was at Alive ’90 (a festival of popular Christian bands in Pennsylvania) when my cousin Lisa and I camped out all weekend and attended the concerts.    Before that, it was mainly a back yard tent.   My neighbor, Jerry, and I would try to sleep outside with my dad occasionally (we never quite made it).    My sister and I used to drag out her little portable TV and watch it in the tent during the summer.  Yeah, we really roughed it!  (HA- and come to think of it… I bet she still has that little TV!)


Now my kids are enjoying the tent!  For nearly a week, we’ve had it set up in the back yard (and once on the screened in porch- when they tried to sleep in it… it didn’t happen for them either).  I will say, however, that my boys are Royal Rangers and they camp out all the time!  They are rugged and ready when it comes to real camping and enjoy it a lot.   In our tent, however, we string the familiar orange power cord out to the tent and hook up a lamp, etc.   One night, we made cocoa and sat and ate graham crackers and chocolate bars in the tent.  That was fun!   It’s hard to believe that the tent hasn’t worn out in all those years.  It reminded me of the children of Israel when they wandered in the desert for 40 years and their clothes never wore out!    The tent also reminds me of comments people have made about our family, “Where do you keep all those kids… in a tent in the backyard?”   No, but maybe that’s an idea for when we have company! 


Go back to the Old Testament days – most people were tent dwellers.  Think about Abraham who wondered around with his wife Sarah.  They were in their tent when the three visitors came and told them that Sarah was going to have a baby.  Jacob “pitched a tent”. All of the Israelites were tent dwellers when they left Egypt.  There were few 'permanent' dwellings.    Even the first tabernacle (the Tent of Meeting) was not a 'fixture'.   David further describes God as a tent where he would like to dwell (Ps. 61:4) Even into the New Testament, Acts describes Aquila and Priscilla as tentmakers.  Later, Paul describes our bodies as temporal and tents in 2 Corinthians 2:5, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”


Tents remind us that things are temporary.  That’s not a bad thing to think about.  When we allow that thought to work through our spirits, we understand that practically everything this side of heaven should be held loosely; from material possessions to our physical bodies.  This world is only a mere foreshadow of eternity.  The things with the greatest value are those things that cannot be bought, sold, or borrowed (love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, loyalty, faith, hope, joy, salvation, etc) 


Is there something in your life that you are holding on too tightly today instead of looking at it as temporary?   Maybe you’re going through a trial… remember it’s only temporary.  Maybe you’re over extended…remember it’s only temporary.   Perhaps you’re bogged down with school… your time in school is only temporary.  Is it kids that are on your last nerve… remember that their childhood is only temporary!    A situation got you down because you don’t see any way out… it’s only temporary!


Blessings, friends! 


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