Enlarging the Place of our Tent
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtain wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2
After graduating from high school, I lived for a few months with a family in a remote area of eastern Africa. They had a house and a home base, but the people they worked with were nomadic. This meant that sometimes we lived in tents. The climate was dry and warm, and afternoons could be very windy. We would find a place with a large tree that provided shade, and if needed tarps expanded the protected area to accommodate visitors. By adjusting cords and stakes, we could set things up in a variety of configurations depending on the needs of the day, and had shelter from the wind and dust.
With all the discussions around the remodel and redevelopment of our property, I’ve been thinking a lot about the words of Isaiah 54:2. While Hope Church is not the building, but people, I’m excited about how the new facility could reinforce the values that we speak out. We are not changing our tent, but we are expanding its place by “stretching the curtain open wide” so that our community is invited in more clearly. We will continue to strengthen our stakes of being centered in Jesus Christ, and even our physical facility will communicate that with large crosses integrated into both the interior and exterior that is most visible from the street.
It will involve hard work to make room for the people that are “on the way.” As we go wider in the Kingdom, and as more of our community comes in, they will stretch us. Sometimes that stretching will be uncomfortable. As we enlarge our love for God by going deeper with Jesus, we strengthen our stakes. He helps us go beyond our personal limits to enlarge our love for others and to grow closer in community.
Part of enlarging the place of our tent also means creating spaces outside of the main tent where we engage with our neighbors. Our “large shady tree” could be a local business, a coffee shop or restaurant, a community festival or athletic event, our green space, a public park, or someone’s back yard. It might be our homes.
How is God stretching you?
by Peggy Turnbull