UMBRELLAS…serve several purposes. Primarily, they are to shelter a person from rain, storms and the sun’s rays. They’re okay for mild breezes but the gusty winds will rip the umbrella right out of your hand. Last week’s Spring storms were powerful and an umbrella is of little use in them. Golf is really noted for multiple designs, mostly large and highly effective. The umbrella I use most is the one I got from LandPlan Development. It is black, compact and has the spring-loaded one-handed opener. Well, my truly favorite one is from the Masters when four of us played the Augusta Country Club years ago. Yes, I did!!! And I loved it! Thanks, Jim.
Since Arnold Palmer died recently, we have seen his company logo everywhere. It is multi-colored. The story is that he was playing in the rain and his ball rolled off the fairway close to some trees. A lady was there with this umbrella. She offered to hold it over Arnie till he hit. Being the consummate marketer that he was, he noticed her colorful umbrella, and right away decided that would become his logo; and it stuck. And Travelers has had their umbrella logo for decades.
Isn’t it funny how many times we leave our umbrellas in the car or in the house, and we have to dash through the rain to get to it. And how many have you left somewhere? I even had a beautiful plaid one removed from the church pew when I left it one Sunday morning. I went back—it was gone! Go figure.
Dads, you are the primary earthly protector for your wife and children. Many storms come into a family’s life in which they need your confident assurance that you will always be there for them. They count on that; or at least they should. That is who you are! You provide refuge and strength; not just physical, but emotional and spiritual. On a scary, stormy night, the kids should love to nestle in your arms to feel secure; or hop in your bed till it passes. They feel safe there.
Your teenagers act like they don’t need you anymore; but don’t kid yourself, they do. That is one of the toughest times in any child’s life. You being there for them gives confidence to face these growing-up trials. You can’t fight their fights for them, but you can lend them counsel, empathy and love. Down deep they so need to feel that—my dad has my back! It is immeasurable!
But dads are earthly; and all need to draw their strength for themselves and their family from the true Source of refuge and strength. Your children should know that you are not relying solely on your own wisdom. You are modeling to them, for their own life experiences. In scripture, we see that God is our refuge, a very present help, our strong tower, shield, armor and so much more. Most of our encounters are spiritual. They may manifest themselves in physical circumstances, but the origin is unseen. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities in the heavenly places. Unless you are properly armed, these forces will overwhelm you and your loved ones.
‘So Bill, how do I accomplish this?’ First, you must know and absolutely rely on this truth. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. 4.4b). Stand on this promise and believe it. This assumes you have Christ living in you through the power, presence and person of the Holy Spirit. That is the He in the verse. You have to learn how and when to use the full armor as outlined in Ephesians 6.10-18. These are secured through prayer and believing His word. Your family needs to have you praying covering over them and teaching them the power of prayer and the word.
God is your ‘umbrella’ in a stormy world. Solomon used a great image in Songs 2.4. “He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love.” Among other things, I pray this over my family every morning. You can too. Do your wife and children see you as the channel for God’s care and protection, their ‘earthly umbrella’? Do they sense His ‘banner of love’ in their lives? Or do they feel exposed to the storms of life? Let them know often of your prayers for the covering of God’s full armor.
Birds or chickens don’t have umbrellas, but have you ever seen the parent nestling the chicks under their wings in the cold or rain? Reminds me of Psalm 63.7. “Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.” If those chicks could talk, I bet you would hear some rejoicing. And so will your ‘chicks’.
Check the weather report. You just may need your umbrella today!
This video really captures the message.