Our Heavenly Dwelling and the Ministry of Reconciliation

by Mike Ratliff

For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened–not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4 ESV)

About two weeks ago I was in Oklahoma visiting my daughter and son-in-law. I did some landscaping for them as well as some general lawn care. Sometime during all that I picked up a very bad case of Poison Ivy. My arms and legs are the worst, however it is also on my cheek and upper lip. The medication that I am on is no picnic either. During all of this I have reflected much on what God is doing within this trial or test. I have no doubt that I need to be humbled and this test is spot-on for that. I am beginning to understand Job sitting on the ash heap scraping his skin with broken piece of pottery. Seriously though, I do know one thing that God is definitely doing in my heart through this. I believe the Lord is attacking my “pride of life.”

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