I looked like an awful mom.
I parked the car in our church parking lot as I do every Sunday morning. The kids and I were solo as my husband is a pastor and arrives at church early. We always park in the back, even in bad weather. Unfortunately, this day was both cold and rainy. It was the type of weather that makes you want to stay bundled up in your bed where you are nice and warm!
As I got my kids out of the car, I also grabbed my over-sized umbrella. I always feel like I am winning at adulting when I have an umbrella in the car ready to go! Anyone else!?
We started walking to the church building from our car. As I am walking holding my two-year-old, I look over to see my six-year-old son not walking beside me. He was walking in the rain! There was more than enough room for him to be under the umbrella with us.
“Jackson, get under the umbrella! It is freezing rain out here!”
“No, thank you,” Jackson said.
For whatever reason that I am still not aware of, he had no desire to walk under the umbrella. He walked the entire parking lot in the cold rain.
I looked like an awful mom—I know I did! But the fact of the matter was that my son would not walk under the umbrella no matter how hard I tried.
Jackson assured me he was fine, but I can guarantee he was slightly more miserable than he would have been if he stayed under the umbrella.
Isn’t the same true for us and God?
Jesus says in John 10:10 that
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
God provides us this umbrella where, if we stay under it, we can experience this abundant life Jesus offers when we follow Him.
Let me explain.
Ephesians 2:10 says,
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
James 4:17 says,
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Together, these verses explain how to abide under the umbrella of abundant life. We abide under the umbrella of abundant life by following Jesus. As we follow Jesus, opportunities for good works will come our way that were prepared by God ahead of time—it is up to us to not let them pass us by. When we allow these opportunities to pass us by, we step outside of the umbrella. God still loves us (just like I still loved my son despite allowing him to walk in the freezing rain), but we are the ones that miss out on experiencing abundant life in those moments.
Please hear me in that I am not saying an abundant life equals an easy life. Abundant life includes high highs and low lows. But, just as my son would have been better off under my umbrella, experiencing the abundant life Jesus offers under the umbrella is always worth it.
The next time an opportunity for a good work comes your way, jump on it. Don’t miss out on the abundant life Jesus offers.