“I like to think of the blessing of God as an umbrella. An umbrella doesn’t change the forecast. Life will rain pain, that’s for sure. But the blessing of God does provide a covering of sorts, an extra layer of protection against the elements. . . . Of course, we have to position ourselves under that umbrella of blessing. . . . Ed Young says this: ‘We need to get under those things God has put over us so we can get over those thing God has put under us.’ “- Mark Batterson
In Chapter 2 (“Umbrella Blessing”) of Double Blessing, Mark Batterson tells the story of Jonas Hanway. Today, if you visit Westminster Abbey, you’ll find a memorial to Jonas. After making his fortune as a sea captain and merchant, Hanway turned his attention to philanthropy. Furthermore, he served as both governor and vice president of Foundling Hospital, a home for the homeless.
However, Hanway also gained fame for doing what no Englishman had done before. Hanway became the first Londoner to use an accessory then considered suitable only for women – the portable roof (aka umbrella). Evidently, Mark quips, two hundred and fifty years ago real men got wet.
Certainly, the blessing of God doesn’t mean you won’t get wet. But, like Jonas Hanway, it can keep you singing in the rain. Therefore, Pastor Batterson describes the umbrella of blessing as :
- an extra measure of grace during tough times
- a song in the night during seasons of sadness
- the peace that passes understanding when life fails to make sense
- joy unspeakable when you reach the end of your rope
Finally, Mark cautions, the blessing of God doesn’t denote a carte blanche approach. Because all God’s blessing comes with a condition that we must meet. We need to position ourselves for God’s blessing through old-fashioned obedience. As a result, we go the extra mile rather than looking for loopholes or coming up with cop-outs.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you position yourself under God’s umbrella of blessing? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Mercies as sure as the sunrise”