Put down the umbrella! The words could not have been clearer. We were singing about God’s mercies being poured out, his blessings being “showered down.” Interrupting this sweet reverie came the realization that we can’t experience a drop of God’s favor if our umbrellas are up. He may be sending a torrent of grace our way but we’ll never know it if we have installed permanent fixtures of “protection.”
Umbrellas in the natural are useful. They shelter us from either getting drenched by the rain or roasted by the sun. Umbrellas in the spirit present another story. They block us from the blessings of God and shield us from soaking in his love. Why in the world would we want to guard ourselves from that? What do we deem more important than letting God rain down on our parched souls?
It makes me ask myself what my umbrella consists of. What have I constructed that keeps me from receiving God’s poured out mercies? Shame? Self-sufficiency? Pride? Distractions? How about Unbelief?
Unbelief makes a pretty hefty umbrella. It does a great job in protecting me from disappointment. If I expect nothing, when nothing comes, at least I won’t be devastated. Better to play it safe. But in shielding myself from potential pain, I also shield myself from love, joy, peace…all the things that make life worth living.
Umbrellas of any kind obstruct the truth, that God wants to bless all of his children—the just as well as the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Thinking his outpouring of mercy is conditioned on our behavior creates blind spots that make us want to cling to our “protection.” Until we recognize God desires to pour down his favor just because he is good—not because we are— I’m afraid we’ll never close our umbrellas.
Even when the blessings arrive in disguise, as they will at times, be assured that God intends everything for your good. You don’t have to stay hidden under whatever your umbrella consists of. Go ahead. Put that umbrella down. Get sopping wet in the beauty of his goodness and the favor of his love.