"We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven. . . ." — 2 Corinthians 5:1
Generally the closest we come to realizing our human mortality is when we see the earthly remains of someone who has passed on to eternity.
The apostle Paul offers a fitting perspective on this passing. He points out that this life and body are temporary, and our whole being yearns for its permanent dwelling in heaven. When believers in Christ take their last breath, they are swallowed up by life and not death. Our camping adventure in these earthly tents is over, and we move into a new place that Jesus has prepared for us (John 14:2).
Life in these tents can be rich and full as God grants us joy in worship, relationships, work, and witness. But this is just a foretaste of the glory that awaits us, that the Spirit of God guarantees for our future.
My mother never much liked camping, and her earthly tent was often wracked with pain. As we gathered around her bedside in the days and hours before she passed away, we grieved for us but rejoiced for her. She would soon be taking up residence with God!
When we are faced with our own mortality, we naturally desire to stay with the people we love in this familiar world. But as Christians, we do not grieve as people without hope, for we believe the best is yet to come!