Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NIV
I enjoy camping and living out of a backpack and hammock. But it is not something I want to do permanently. I like running water, electricity and heat too much. The first part of this chapter makes this same comparison between two dwelling places. The first is the earthly tent that I currently live in. The second is an eternal house in heaven, built by God, and prepared for me. The tent may be comfortable and well known, but as long as I live in it, I am away from the much finer dwelling. But when this tent I live in is destroyed, then I will be able to move into the eternal house.
Which is better? Living in the tent with a picture of my wife? Or living in the house with my wife? This is similar to what Paul is saying here. As long as I am camping out, making my home in the tent, I am away from the Lord. But when I move from the tent into the permanent house, I will be at home with him. Which is better? Paul’s preference is to be living in the house with the Lord. Now he lives by faith, looking at the picture of his Lord. Then he will live by sight, in the very presence of God.
I have know some folks who eagerly looked forward to leaving the tent days behind and moving into the house. But most of us seem determined to live in the tent for as long as we possibly can. Lord, help me to faithfully serve you while here, but at the same time to eagerly look forward to what you have prepared for me.