After ministering in Kenya we had an extended layover in the eternal city of Rome. Rather than twiddle our fingers in the airport, we booked a hotel room using credit card reward points and ended up with the penthouse room for free! To paraphrase mafia boss Don Corleone: it was a deal we couldn’t refuse!
The room was small but nicely furnished, and the view (as you can see from the photo) was stellar. However, the one easily accessible electrical outlet didn’t work. Had I been at home I’d have tinkered with it until I curled my hair, but this was a hotel room. It wasn’t my home to fix.
The Old Testament patriarch Abraham was one of the wealthiest men of his day, yet he spent his life in a tent, owning only a small cave in which he buried his wife Sarah. God had promised him ownership of the land of Canaan, yet the Bible says that he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise (Hebrews 11:9).
The Book of Hebrews goes on to say that Abraham anticipated living in a different land and city made by God. He didn’t put down roots in Canaan because he considered himself a stranger and pilgrim on the earth (Hebrews 11:13), desiring a better, that is, a heavenly country (Hebrews 11:16).
Despite the platitudes of the moral majority, we cannot fix this fallen world. It doesn’t matter who we vote for, how we tinker with the broken system, or what efforts we make, the hotel room in which we stay for a short time is broken and only God can fix it. That redemption isn’t dependent upon us as if this world revolves around us; it revolves around Him. This world is headed in one direction: total destruction before God creates a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). We futily attempt to repair what doesn’t belong to us and what God has declared He will tear down. Only when He rebuilds will it be heaven on earth.
As Christians we don’t turn a blind-eye to the world around us, but the land in which we sojourn is not our home. It is not ours to repair but to live in as godly guests until check-out. Keep looking up!