A blog beginnings…
Whoo Hoo!!! A new beginning, a new season, a new chapter, new journey, just new…
I am so very excited to invite you on this journey with me…and my umbrellas! You may have never given a whole lot of thought about being on an umbrella journey, right? Oh, but the fun we’ll have and the places we’ll go!
Umbrellas became a part of my, “landscape” somewhere around 2005…
A routine Sunday morning at the KBF (Kurume Bible Fellowship) church service held on the campus of CAJ (Christian Academy in Japan,) where our children attended school, there was a special testimony given by a young alumni of the school sharing about her time spent on an internship in Africa at a home for women with Aids.
Here’s how I remember her story went, when she arrived at the home where she would be spending her time working with the young ladies living there, she was overwhelmed by the enormous amount of needs that she saw. That first evening when she was alone in her small room away from the group home, she prayed fervently … “God, what would you have me do here? There is so much need everywhere, how do I begin? Where should I focus my time and energy? What am I to do to be used by you in this place?”
The following cloudy morning as she was waiting for her ride back to the home, it had begun to rain. She put up her umbrella and invited a few ladies that were also waiting nearby to join her under it. It was during this time that she felt God say to her that she didn’t need to wonder about what she should be doing and who to help etc., she should just work with those who fit under HER umbrella!
She continued on with her testimony and shared about the women that she specifically worked with…however, my brain just paused… “work with those who you invite under your Umbrella!”, my heart pounded a bit faster, my mind raced ahead and I realized that’s EXACTLY what God calls each of us to do!
We don’t have to and aren’t expected to solve all the problems of the world ourselves. We are each uniquely equipped because of who we are created to be, and because of our past experiences, to invite people that God has and will strategically placed in our lives, under OUR umbrella!
One of the biblical verses that I feel lends itself to Armed With Umbrellas is taken from Ephesians 2:10, “He (God) creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” This version is taken from The Message… emphasis mine.
A little “back story” about the book of Ephesians is that the apostle Paul was the writer to this group of people who were struggling just a bit with what being a follower of Jesus Christ really meant. The many people of diverse backgrounds in the area had some of their own ideas on how things were supposed to go! Man’s ideas versus the teaching of Jesus. In the book of Ephesians Paul reminds them of the true meanings of living their lives as followers of the Son of God. When I read and ponder this book I realize how relevant it is even in our lives today!
Yes, I believe that God is wondering, with all He has given me, who I am going to invite under MY umbrella? How about you?
Join with me as we purposefully explore the paths, wet, sunny, slippery, muddy or dusty that are set before us “under our umbrellas!”
Armed with MY umbrellas, and walking under His, till next time,
** The photo above is from my “farewell” Sayonara party before leaving Japan where my awesome, thoughtful friends gifted me with the beautiful tea ceremony umbrella. I am blessed to be able to share Armed With Umbrellas from under its incredible canopy! It also allows me to be reminded of how God ALWAYS cares for us no matter where we are in this world!!