Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Mr. Peter Langbroek
Ko just bought a tent. He was excited as he hastily opened the box. There was the tent, tightly folded in a storage bag. Tent poles, rain-fly, and stakes were with it. As he read the print on the box, he and his cousin, Caroline, read, "Using the latest in tent design, this dome tent makes set-up so easy one person can do it in minutes." Well, said Ko, let's see if they're right about that. Ko would find out how fast he could set up the tent.

I'll time you, replied Caroline. She looked intently at her watch for the second hand to reach the "12." On your mark, get set, go!

Ko speed-read the directions. He laid the tent out, connected the poles, stretched them over the dome. Bingo! The tent was up in 8 minutes, 32 seconds!

Tents are like that. The lighter they are, the tighter they're packed, the easier and faster you can set them up and take them down, the better. Ko was on a trip from Holland with his brother, Johan, and he wanted to travel through California, east through Death Valley to the Grand Canyon, north to Utah into Yellowstone Park, and north and west to return to British Columbia. He would travel, set up the tent, take down the tent, and travel for two weeks.

Tents aren't permanent homes. Those who live in tents don't live in them for a long time. Imagine, you and your family living in a tent all year long. A few weeks camping in the summer is good enough for me. After two weeks I long for my warm home and cosy bed. What about you?

Nevertheless, there are and have been people who live in tents their whole lives--nomads. Do you remember someone in the Bible who was a nomad? He was Abraham. God called Abraham at 75 years old from his town of Ur to travel to a country God would promise, the land God would show him. When he arrived in the land of Canaan he set no foundation and built no home. He lived in a tent for the rest of his life. He owned no property in the land God promised him, only a cave to bury his wife Sarai. Tent living was no cosy life for Abraham.

Why Abraham lived in a tent and never returned to Ur was because of his faith. He obeyed God's call and trusted God was faithful to His promise. He also realized God's promise to him was a home beyond this world, in eternity. The promised home was Heaven. We read of Abraham:

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange
country, dwelling in tabernacles [tents] with Isaac and Jacob,
the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city
which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews
11:9-10).

He felt himself a stranger and foreigner, too, in a land where no one feared God.

Abraham's faith is an example for us to imitate. Every true believer sees himself a travelling nomad living in a tent. That is, he does not trust in the riches and pleasures of this world. He does not pretend he'll live forever, neither does he feel at home with those who do not fear God. He, like Abraham, longs for a God-built, God-designed city with a room prepared for him.

Children, if you're tenting this summer, think of Abraham as you travel, set up the tent, and take down the tent for a few days or weeks. Long not for home on earth, but home in Heaven, where Christ lives.

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