Why You Need A Good Umbrella

Let’s start with the fun stuff. I was supposed to announce the winners of last week’s contest in a post already, but I’ve had limited internet access this week and wasn’t able to post. So, belatedly, I wish hearty congratulations to the two winners of the baby items giveaway–

Katie Beth and Lori!!

Girls, email me your mailing addresses & I’ll get those certificates to you asap!

828507_colorful_umbrella

When it rains, it pours, right? We’ve been hearing this little phrase a lot lately.

  • The transmission in our car died and our car was in the shop for a month having that replaced, plus the shocks & struts. $Cha-ching$
  • Our dog began limping again on a knee that was completely replaced in doggy surgery four years ago.
  • The hose to our kitchen sink sprayer sprang a leak and my sweet, wonderful, talented husband tried to fix it himself, but being good at a great many things, handy-manning is not one of them. So, I was without a kitchen sink for a few days.
  • Our TV died.
  • Our oven died.
  • Our laptop died.
  • We had a medical emergency with a close family member.
  • My three year-old opened the pantry to get a snack and the cabinet door fell off. Just fell off.
  • My doctor broke his hand skiing and won’t be able to deliver our baby.

Most of this all happened within a week.

My first response to the deluge of chaos was my go-to “seriously?”

Followed by these thoughts:

What are we doing wrong that God is allowing all of this stuff to happen? (He’s punishing us.)

Why is everything falling apart all at one time? (Life is unfair.)

What about that whole “working for goodness for those who love Him” thing? (Not trusting in what I know to be the truth.)

All of these thoughts were sinful. Flat out.

But then I had this thought– what are my blessings? Yep, I started counting them. And they outweighed the chaos, of course.

Here’s the thing, though. I actually said to my husband, “We’re under attack right now and we need to get ourselves right before the Lord. Something is wrong. I don’t know what, but we need to fix it.”

Then Sunday rolls around and our Sunday school lesson speaks to me in such a way that I know God has been hearing my prayers these past few weeks and he’s reminding me that even in the pouring rain, I’ve got the best umbrella.

The jist of the lesson centered around the idea that our circumstances often affect how confidently we trust Jesus. When things aren’t going our way, we’re tempted to lean toward several spiritual dangers.

Note that this is exactly what I did without even realizing it.

Danger 1– We doubt what we believe. When things don’t go our way, we give more power to what we think is supposed to happen rather than to what God promises.

Danger 2– We believe that God is treating us unfairly and we forget that challenges in our lives help mold us to be like Christ.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who  have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Danger 3– We believe that God is punishing us for things we’ve done in the past. This thought forces us to change our behavior, thinking that we can somehow “stop” the punishment in favor of blessings, putting emphasis on our works instead of on the two things we know to be true of Christ’s sacrifice for us– grace and mercy.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

I am often especially guilty of Danger 3– thinking that God is punishing instead of realizing that although he allows consequences for our actions, I have been forgiven through the greatest atonement.

When the rain is pouring down, the umbrella that keeps me dry is the knowledge and faith in the saving grace of Christ.

No matter what happens in my life, no matter what the circumstances, everything points back to Jesus. I’m being molded and shaped to be more like him. My faith is being strengthened.

God’s blessings are prominent among the raindrops.

After all, it’s the rain that makes the flowers grow.

Share with me: Which of the three dangers above are you most likely to lean toward when raindrops are pouring in your life?

Real Signature

**The Sunday school material we use is The Gospel Project, Spring 2013, Lifeway Publishers.

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8 Comments

Filed under The Christian Walk

8 responses to “Why You Need A Good Umbrella

  1. Yikes! What a week you’ve had …
    And I think the thing I hate the most is that your doctor broke his hand and won’t be able to deliver your baby!
    I tend to lean toward Danger 1 — doubting what I believe — which then snowballs into 2 & 3.
    That’s why anchoring myself in the Word is so key — and surrounding myself with friends who will remind me of the truth (and pray for me when I’m forgetting it) is so, so important.

  2. Ouch, Jenny, I’m sorry you’re dealing with so much right now. I am guilty of believing we earn or deserve our good fortune. God blesses us in our sinful state–there is never a time we aren’t in that state. I constantly battle this!! Praying things go up, up, up for you. 🙂

  3. Poor girl! So much to deal with right before having your baby. I love that you’re not letting it steal your joy, though, and that you’re counting your blessings! I’m possibly more likely to believe #2, because I don’t want to go through hardships. Instead of praying to be made more like Christ because of them, I often find myself praying for God to end my suffering. But it doesn’t work like that, unfortunately.

  4. When your post arrived in my inbox, I prayed for you as I read, Jenny. If I were there, I’d cook something deelish for you. That’s my go-to mode when someone needs a little extra TLC. 🙂

    I struggle with #2 at times because, in my human flesh, I think I shouldn’t have to experience difficulty…which, of course, is absolute nonsense. (I had a week a little similar to yours last week, which ironically, I blogged about, too, today. Great minds think alike, right?)

    Cyber hug to you, friend! (And countless prayers…) 🙂

  5. WOW!! What a life lately, huh? SO nice to know that Christ IS in control and when the worlds spins around in mad circles, we can stay centered.

  6. Have mercy! You’ve been going through a lot right now! I love the truths you’ve shared. I’ve been battling some spiritual demons, and I have to remember God’s got this.

  7. melanienbrasher

    Jenny, that is a lot! I’m praying for you today. I lean toward danger number one in the midst of challenging circumstances (forgetting God’s promises).

  8. To be honest this was a fantastic detailed report nonetheless like all fantastic writers there are several factors that could be worked after. Nevertheless in no way the significantly less it turned out interesting

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