Over the years we have learned a great deal about beach umbrellas. They need four things to do and be what they are intended for – keep you shaded from the hot sun and protected from the ultra violet rays. First, the umbrella itself should be at least 6-1/2 feet in diameter to give you adequate space underneath it. Second, it needs a roof vent for stability; to keep the umbrella from turning inside out in gusty conditions. Third, the pole should be at least 1-1/4 inches in diameter and be made of sturdy aluminum. This will help it not to bend, again in those gusty winds. And lastly, you need a sand anchor that screws into the sand to keep your umbrella securely fastened in the ground. If you’ve been to the beach you have likely seen an umbrella blowing across the sand; it was probably not secured by a sand anchor. And really one more thing is important – having an umbrella with bright and unique patterns to help you find yours in the midst of a sea of umbrellas on a hot summer day.
Not having a “beach-worthy” umbrella might be fine when the conditions are calm but when the winds begin to blow, usually that umbrella fails to do what it is intended to do if turns inside out or you are constantly chasing it down the beach. An umbrella, whether the beach kind or the rain kind, are of little value if they fail to keep you shaded or dry.
Having faith in Jesus that is not both wide to cover you and securely fastened to keep you safe – to keep you shaded from the hot sun and that does not blow over in a storm – is not really faith at all. That kind of faith is like having a beach umbrella with you but never taking it out of the bag, never putting it up to allow it to do what it was intended for.
Having a strong faith requires a day after day willingness to surrender your will to His, to spend time in His presence through prayer, Bible reading, and silence. It requires asking, as the apostles did in Luke 17:5 – “Increase our (my) faith!”
And having this strong faith, a spiritual fullness in Christ, is just what we read in Colossians 2:6-7 – “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Is your faith beach-worthy or will it blow away at the first hint of breeze? Does your umbrella protect you from the harmful elements or does it just look pretty?
New Bern, North Carolina