September 29, 2017
Can I Borrow Your Umbrella?
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
As the words tumbled out of her mouth, the room grew silent. The horror she described touched the deepest corners of our hearts. Her story was followed by someone else’s story which was closely followed by a third story. Suicide. Dementia. Rape. Abuse. Prejudice. Pain.
As my small group of running friends gathered to pray that night, I was struck by the depth of hurt surrounding each of us. Hurt that cuts so deep all hope is lost. Scaring hurt that builds walls around hearts. Hurt that mere words cannot reach. Hurt that can only be healed by a touch from God.
Our world is hurting. Our country is hurting. Our friends our hurting. Our family is hurting. Hope for many is fading. So what do we do? How can we help those who are struggling with painful issues? Paul offers us a few tips in Romans 15:1-13.
First the strong need to hold up the weak (Romans 15:1). We need to let our friends who are struggling stand under our umbrella of faith until the storm passes. If we are struggling we need to huddle under someone else’s faith umbrella.
Next, we need to embrace each other (Romans 15:5). Literally and figuratively we need to be hugging each other’s necks. Don’t shy away from hugging a friend and whispering hope into her ear. Be authentic. Stop hiding, pretending, judging, and criticizing. Let’s get real with each other.
Third, praise God for his mercy (Romans 15:9-11). The lies of Satan must be replaced with the truth of God’s word. When the waves of despair wash over you, turn on some praise music and float in Gods’ truth. Read back over the scripture you have been writing for the last nine months.
Last, pray (Romans 15:13). Pray for hope to be restored. Pray for healing. Pray for wisdom. Pray for strength. Pray for God to be revealed and glorified-no matter what. Just pray.
There is darkness all around us, but Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
Things to ponder: Who needs a hug from you today? Reach out to a friend who may need to stand under your faith umbrella and offer to be her strength. Maybe you need to ask to stand under a friend's umbrella. Do it. Who do you need to pray for today?
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.