a collection of straw hats -
variety of types and colors, if possible


Do any of you boys and girls have a straw hat at home? I know one family that has a straw hat for every member of the family. In the hot summer time they are very, very useful, aren't they? I can recall this past week when I wished I had one. But, we don't always carry around one, do we? On the other hand, if we did, they would always be available if we needed one.

There was a nursing home near where I live that had in the foyer of the home a number of such hats. They belong to various individuals who resided there. Often they would go on walks and before going out would get "their" hat and put it on. As they went outside they looked rather cool - each with a different type and color.

Now, if I ask any of you what is the purpose of such a hat I am sure you would have the right answer. Do I hear anyone saying (or thinking) "to keep the sun off". Well, that is correct but it does a number of things other than keeping the sun off or out. When the sun is hot and striking the hat, the head is kept cooler and protected. In fact, your forehead or even your whole face can be completely in the shade of the brim of a straw hat.

The hat also provides protection if it starts to rain, although you probably won't be wearing a straw hat. But if you went under a sprinkler, your head would be kept dry. Another example, if the wind is blowing very hard and you are wearing a straw hat or any other hat for that matter, your hair will not get all messed up by the wind.

I think that a straw hat might think it very important and happy when their owner takes care of them and appreciates them, huh?

Now, did I mention earlier that God is like a straw hat? No. Well, let me do it now. And let me tell you what I mean by that. In the Bible there is a scripture which says that the Lord is a shade to your right hand. That means that God is near you to shade you just like the straw hat does. Psalm 121:5 tells us, "The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand."

God shades and protects us from the elements of the world, just like the straw hat shades and protects us from the elements of the world. We are talking about different kind of elements. For example, when winds of trouble blow your way, God protects you. When you feel the pounding of trials, like the pounding of the rain, God is there for you. When you feel the pressure of the world that builds up and heats your inner soul, or inner person, God is to you like a straw hat. It protects, God protects.

Catch is - you have to put it on. You have to "put Jesus on" by accepting him and what he did for you on the cross. Our soul's protection is found on the cross of the Christ.




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