Dr. Jackie Minor
Do You Have Your Umbrella?
As I was driving toward the airport in Tampa this week gazing at the ominous rain clouds, I couldn’t help but chuckle. I had managed to escape being caught in the daily rains without my umbrella. I know better than to leave my umbrella behind when traveling to Florida, but for some reason I forgot to take it this time. I debated on whether to buy another one, but I hated to add to my already large collection of umbrellas purchased as a result of my past forgetfulness. I decided to chance it this time, and the gamble paid off. I didn’t get caught in a downpour! It is ironic to me that when I take my umbrella, it never rains. However, when I forget it, the rain invariably comes—and sometimes with a vengeance.
I may be over simplifying this, but I began to think about this scenario as a metaphor for our Christian walk. Rain clouds are part of life. Some seasons are worse than others. I would contend that it’s a rainy season right now! The clouds of COVID-19, racial inequalities, natural disasters, and political unrest are emptying buckets of rain these days, and there seems to be no letup in sight. The big question is…
Do you have your umbrella?
What is your “umbrella” when the clouds of life start dumping rain? What covers you? Are you protected, or are you getting drenched? For me, I feel shielded when I am covering myself with the Word of God and choosing to live by faith. It is my decision. I not only have to take my umbrella with me, but I have to open it and use it! God is always present. He doesn’t leave us when it starts to rain. Over and over in the Scriptures we read of His promises to never abandon us.
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
God desires to protect us and cover us, but He won’t force Himself on us. To open our umbrella, we have to seek Him, talk with Him, and grow to know Him through His Word. This may sound harsh, but it is simply foolish to chance it. God loves us so much. His provision and protection are available—if we have our umbrella!
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
Now, you might have your umbrella, but it may be a bit small. There have been times in my past when I was in a hurry and purchased a mini-umbrella. I knew it wasn’t ideal, but I convinced myself it would be good enough. Truth be told, however, my mini-umbrella has never been big enough to protect all of me. You may feel like you are getting a bit wet these days. Maybe the daily grind and challenges at school require a bigger umbrella. Maybe we need to spend more time in the Word, more time in prayer, and more time with fellow believers. We serve a BIG God, and He is more than able to meet our every need—if our umbrella is big enough!
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. I Chronicles 29:11
Does your umbrella happened to be damaged? I’m bad about throwing things away. Sometimes one or two parts of my umbrella will begin to pull away from the frame. I feel like it is still usable, but in reality, when the rains shift or the wind picks up, I end up getting soaked. It may be time to take a step back and determine if our umbrellas need mending. Unconfessed sin, broken relationships, strongholds, complacency, fear, shame, and doubt are examples of damage in our lives which prevent us from experiencing the covering that comes from a right relationship with Christ.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
Having said all of this, I recognize we are not always going to avoid the rain. We are all impacted to some degree by what is happening around us right now. However, when we trust in the Lord and keep our eyes on Him (umbrella open), we can experience the faithfulness of God expressed by David in Psalm 37.
3Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
Although I don’t always like the rain, I love what it feels like after it is over! The air is fresh, the ground is nourished, the sun comes out, the rainbow appears, and we are reminded of God’s goodness. I know it is raining right now. Make sure you have your umbrella!