"Um, is this working?"

“Um, is this working?”

Did it rain at your house last night? We had a torrential downpour here in Atlanta, accompanied by thunder, lightning and the occasional flicker of the power. It wouldn’t have been so bad except we had fifteen college age kids crammed in one room for Bible study, without their cell phones.

We have a practice of leaving our cell phones in the bowl at the door when we come in so we don’t get distracted, so when the power went off no one had a flashlight handy. Thankfully, it only stayed off about a minute.

When it came time for people to leave, the rain was still pouring. No one brought umbrellas so we got creative. One girl left with her cajon drum wrapped in a kitchen trash bag with a hole in the middle for carrying. Another actually wrapped herself in a trash bag. People didn’t want to get wet in the pelting rain.

I couldn’t help but think umbrellas would have done a better job, if we’d only thought ahead. Umbrellas provide a protective covering, so the rain can’t get to you.

Storms don’t just come in the summertime; storms come in all phases of life too.

Just like a rain storm, we can’t prevent life storms either, but there are ways we can prevent ourselves from getting pelted.umbreallas

There are all different sizes of umbrellas used to cover you from storms outside. There’s baby bear umbrellas, made for small children. There are mama bear or average size umbrellas made for the average person. And then there are papa bear umbrellas, also known as golf umbrellas.

In life, when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, it’s like getting our first umbrella. We’re covered, but there are things that may get to us from time to time.

When we go to church or a small group regularly to grow in our faith, we graduate to the mama bear umbrella. Not only is Jesus our Lord and Savior, but we’ve given Him access to areas of our life through fellowship with other believers. Our protective covering increases. We have others in the faith who become Jesus with skin on in our lives.

When we are completely sold out to the Lord, spending time in His Word and in prayer regularly, we graduate to the papa bear umbrella. Our covering increases even more. We, then, have within our grasp tools or weapons to fight with when trouble comes our way, and it will come [John 16:33]. Just as Jesus used the Word of God to defeat the enemy in the wilderness, we will have a greater knowledge and understanding of the Word of God and can use it to protect ourselves as well when the storms come [Matthew 4:1-11]. The Word of God is our offensive weapon [Ephesians 6:10-18]. We also become very familiar with the voice of the Lord, the more time we spend with Him and in His Word, so we recognize when an imposter is trying to lead us astray [John 10:27-28].

What kind of covering do you have at your disposal? Are you walking around with a ripped up plastic bag or carrying a baby bear umbrella of protection trying to fight off the monsoons of life?

Jesus has given you all you need to be completely covered.

It’s yours for the taking. And unlike our situation at Bible study last night, there’s always enough to go around. No one has to be a sitting duck and get pelted by the storms of life. Let the Lord be your shelter.

I’ll leave you with this, one of my favorite scriptures to pull out when life storms come my way. It’s Psalm 91.

I encourage you to make it personal and insert your name in the verses as you read them. For example: Susan, who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. She will say of the LORD… You get the idea. Now it’s your turn. Enjoy and be blessed!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, who is my refuge– then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.”