For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. —2 Cor. 5:4-6, NASB
Reading this gave me chills. I was doing a search to Biblically define life’s purpose. I was thinking more along the lines of the Westminster Short Catechism—“to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Don’t get me wrong—I think that’s a correct statement, but this verse jolted me right out of the here and now, out of the practical applications that we all crave, and into an eternal mindset. What is God’s purpose for me? Did you see it up there? Right before the pledge, which is the Spirit, we have a statement of intent. He prepared His people to be ‘swallowed up by life.’
Isn’t that glorious? SWALLOWED up by life! LIFE! Not just pinched by it, not nipped, not tickled by it. But swallowed. Completely.
My everyday living and doing varies. Today I’m on my own, which is very rare in my busy household. But today, God’s purpose for me is life. Tomorrow, all four of my children will be around, we’ll be hanging out together at a horse show, and then we’ll come home hot, sweaty and smelling like an arena. But in all that, God’s purpose for me is life. In several days I will see a friend I haven’t seen in a decade. I’ll meet her sweet family, spend several days reacquainting our lives while we revisit sweet memories of the past. And in all that God’s purpose is life.
Not that I will fully know it. Paul said that we groan as we look forward to leaving what is mortal in exchange for the eternal. But in the days in between longing and fulfillment, I get to look forward to it. Imagine it. Rehearse it. Life. Eternal life.
Because He has prepared me for that very purpose.
Note: Please join me in continued prayer for our lovely friend Susan. The process of moving has her occupied again this week. We’ll look forward to her wisdom another week.