Have you ever performed some strenuous labor or exercised vigorously and the next day woken up sore? You could barely move and when you finally did, it was probably with a loud groan. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you did too much, pushed it passed its physical ability and wore it out. It seems that the older we get the more our bodies tend to creak and groan. As we age we slowly start to realize that we can’t do all the things that we could when we were younger. We get tired quickly, get grumpy easily, till at some point, like an impatient child on a long trip we just want to go “home.” For the believer this groaning comes naturally, God has given us his Spirit and His Spirit longs to shed this old body of sin and put on our new heavenly body.
In II Corinthians 5:1, the Apostle Paul calls our bodies an earthly house and tabernacle. If you recall in the Old Testament, the tabernacle was where God lived while the children of Israel wandered in the desert waiting on the Promised Land. God had a purpose in their wandering. It was to teach them to have faith, to depend on Him, and to learn to serve Him and not themselves. It is the same for the believer today, though we are saved and have His Spirit living within us, it is God’s will that we live out our days in this body of flesh, learning to have faith, depend on God, and serve Him with our lives while we are still here on this earth. And just as the children of Israel groaned for their Promised Land so we as believers groan for our Heavenly home.
1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.