Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where to Start

Yesterday morning the Lord and I met in one of the most reviled and dreaded places in the Bible--Proverbs 31. Believe it or not, I am the one who suggested our rendezvous point. I know many women avoid Proverbs 31 like the plague. Maybe the plague is actually less scary. For me, though, it is a place of peace and calm.

Instead of finding this woman my enemy, I find her my goal. I do not fear her. Instead, I embrace her. I want to be like her. Who wouldn't?

Her family life is great. Her husband adores her. Her children appreciate her as a whole and respect her. She is thought of well by her peers. She is wise, doesn't overextend herself, knows when to help and when to say no. She dresses beautifully. She doesn't wear herself out trying to achieve some insane level of false success. She doesn't get flustered or impatient. She is happy and laughing. She is fulfilled in every area of her life.

Who would not want to be her?

The truth is, I think everyone wants to be her, but enmity toward this woman comes from the fear that we will never be her. And we won't be. Not in our own strength. Not in our finite humanness. Our only hope to be like her is to be in Him.

If we look at verse 15, we find the beginning of who she is: "She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household...(Amplified)" The NIV breaks it up differently. "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family."

If those two thoughts are together, I really don't think they are talking about physical food. Either she is making an early breakfast, which makes no sense since she has servants to do that, or she is doing an early morning market run, and since they didn't have any twenty-four hour markets, that doesn't make sense either. That tends to make me think the Amplified has it right. She slipped out of bed early to slip into the presence of her God. Seems to me she even knew she could not be the person she was all by herself.

Notice she didn't wait until the house was quiet at the end of the day or when it became convenient. She was smart enough to know life in this world never allows for God to be convenient.

What I love most about this woman that Satan wants me to hate and to fear is her choice to engage life and not be a victim of it. She confronted life on her terms. She didn't wait for life to dump on her for her to run to her God and find out how to react or do damage control. Instead, she went to her God, got the strength and wisdom for life, and then faced life head on with confidance and joy. She didn't worry about the cold or the food or her family's rest because she had already been with the King, received His strategy, and implemented it. She understood the power of being a visionary, and she expected life to respond appropriately.

Or perhaps she never considered how life would respond at all. Perhaps she knew her God so intimately that she knew His plan and promises could not fail because He knew what life was going to do, and He already had a plan to overcome.

It is easy to look at the Proverbs 31 Woman and feel it is impossible to ever be like her--so good, so together, so...sigh... If you feel she is beyond who you could ever be...even beyond human, don't feel bad. You are in good company. She realized she couldn't be that person either. she knew only God could accomplish such things. That is why she started with Him before anything happened, not reverted to Him for damage control when everything fell apart.

As I said, I like this woman. I like how God looks in her. I want Him to look that way in me, too, and I know just where to start.

Copyright Jerri Phillips 2009

1 comments:

Jenny B. said...

a good word!

I always remember how she "strengthens her arms." That line was enough to get me doing push-ups for a while...

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