It is pouring outside. I arrive at work, park my car as close to the door as possible, and reach for my– wait, I didn’t bring an umbrella [Sigh & Eye Roll Here]. I am faced with two options: wait it out or run it out. I bolt for the door– what would you have done? I take a big breath in, open the door, hold my jacket tight and hurry inside. Whew, I can rest, I survived! My hair didn’t, but I did.
School is out, time to grab my kiddo and you guessed it – it is still pouring and I still don’t have an umbrella. I hurry myself to the car, get in, close the door tight, pull my soaked self together, and start the car. At least I don’t need to go to the gym today – we are two sprints down! I grab my son from school and decide to stop by home just to get an umbrella on my way back to work. I am very proud of myself as I exit my car with an umbrella in hand – I stroll to the door. No need to rush, I’m covered.
My work-day is done, time to go home! Still raining? Ehem, yes. But this time, I am prepared. I grab my umbrella, unwrap the fastener, half open the door and put the umbrella through the door. This is a must when using an umbrella because you know you aren’t supposed to open it inside right? That would be bad luck. For a moment I think to myself – well, I could have already been in the car by now. It takes more time to use an umbrella than to just bolt… There are inherent benefits of course but my goodness the time it takes!
Finally, I am all set with the umbrella, so I step outside underneath its protection and proceed to walk to my car in the rain. Did you catch that? I walk to my car in the rain. It is in this moment the Lord reminds me that Jesus is the umbrella to our stormy lives. He is our shelter from the storms. Surprised to get such a profound statement from a walk in the rain with an umbrella I ponder it a bit more.
Just take a moment and let’s recap this – when I was in the rain unprotected when I didn’t have an umbrella, I relied on my own strength to get through the rain (my storm), as fast as I could. With my head down, I was bolting to the door (my resting spot). I was hurried. I was rushed. I didn’t see other people. I didn’t see what was around me. I was focused on protecting myself. I was independent and self-sufficient. I survived.
But with an umbrella, I walked. If someone else had been there in that moment, I could have invited them to share in my shelter. I could see what was going on in my surroundings, my head was up and I was moving through my storm from a place of rest, not towards one. With the protection of my umbrella, I was no longer concerned about what the storm could do to me. I was covered. When I chose to depend on my umbrella, I thrived.
Yep, this is a picture of Jesus. Do you see it?
An umbrella is defined as a protecting force or influence. So is Jesus. Psalm 91 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”
How often do you bolt with your head down from resting spot to resting spot forgetting you are covered by Jesus? Do you find yourself just trying to survive when you could be thriving in the shelter of Jesus?
Sometimes, our desire is for the storms of life to just stop. We don’t want to need an umbrella. It takes time and effort to use an umbrella. Our pride gets in the way because we believe there is more significance in independence than needing help. Just as an umbrella won’t stop the rain, Jesus doesn’t stop the storms out there – but He does calm the storms in our hearts. If we let Him. When we choose to receive the shelter Jesus offers we move from surviving to thriving.
I don’t know about you, but I want to thrive. I don’t want to merely survive in this world. I want Jesus to be the protecting force in all my storms and I want Him to be the influence of my life. He is my shelter, he is my place of safety, he is rescuing me. My yesterday, my today, and my tomorrow is covered in Jesus. So, I’ll let go of my pride, I’ll submit and surrender, I’ll accept that I need Jesus to calm the storms in my heart because he has overcome this world (John 16:33). He is my umbrella for life.
Reflect & Apply
- Will you let Jesus be your umbrella?
- What do you need to release from your hands so that you are able to receive from Jesus? (Control, pride, shame, guilt)
- Write down one next step you can take to move through life from a place of rest instead of towards one?