Enlarging Our Tents

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes." (Isaiah 54:2 NIV)

When I read the above scripture, the first thing that came to mind is an old canvas tent I have that has been passed down through my family.  It is large enough to sleep 13 people and it is very heavy. Where today’s tents are made of light-weight nylon, this is made of heavy canvas. It was made in the 1920’s and it is still in perfect shape – it doesn’t leak in the rain.

I compare it to my earthly tent which has been cut more times than I can count; it has been sewn, patched up and repaired.  I often wish I could exchange it for a newer model. But, God’s ways are not my ways. He takes the weak things and makes them strong. In my limitations, God’s plan and power are limitless.

Slowly I am learning to get my eyes off the tent and onto how to enlarge it.  God is able to do wonderful things in and through my life – if I just let Him. Instead of being overwhelmed by the limitations and imperfections of my body, I have the privilege and opportunity of watching God work in ways beyond my understanding.

It is true that this temporary shell was not designed to last forever. "The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NIV).

I complain about my earthly tent, it doesn’t do what I want it to anymore; it isn’t as strong as it once was and it keeps getting new patches at the rate of one a day. I am truly grateful that it is not the one I will have for eternity.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for complaining about this earthly tent. I praise You for holding this earthly tent in Your hands and guiding all that touches it. You delight in me, not my body. You look at the heart. Enlarge the place of my tent, and stretch my curtains wide. Use this experience for Your glory in ways I cannot even conceive. Amen.

Denny Dowd lives in Pennsylvania with her cat, Shamrock. Denny is a social worker and she enjoys writing, reading, and volunteering. Denny is the world’s biggest Notre Dame football fan. Denny lives with Chronic Inflammatory Demylineating Polyneuropathy and cancer and has strong faith that God will see her through even the most difficult of days.