Today’s Scripture: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:15-16

The relationship between God and a man is more private and intimate than any possible relation between two fellow creatures. -C.S. Lewis

In Mesopotamia 3,400 years ago, the umbrella originated as an extension of the fan. These early umbrellas did not protect Mesopotamians from rain since they lived in the desert. Rather, the umbrellas protected the people from the harsh sun. The word umbrella is derived from a Latin word meaning “shade.”

By 1200 B.C., the Egyptian umbrella had acquired religious significance. An invitation to stand under the royal umbrella was a high honor, the shade symbolizing the king’s protection. Palm fronds, feathers, and stretched papyrus were the materials for umbrellas as they were for fans.

Later, Greek women of high rank carried white parasols. But it was the Roman women who began the practice of oiling paper sunshades to waterproof them. Roman historians record that a drizzle at an outdoor amphitheater could result in hundreds of women lifting view-obstructing umbrellas, to the annoyance of male spectators.

Finally, in 1750, a British man named Jonas Hanway made the umbrella respectable raingear for men. Gradually, men realized that a one-time investment in an umbrella was cheaper than hailing a coach every time it rained.

Think about God’s umbrella of love. His love will protect you, hide you, and cherish you whenever you need it. He says in His Word that He has loved you with an everlasting love. You are precious in His sight-so precious that He sent His son to die for your sins. Jesus Christ took the punishment you deserved on Himself so that you might have eternal life. Take a minute and thank God for His umbrella.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder