Back in college I attended an early morning women’s Bible study. Once a week, I would roll out of bed and look forward to coffee, community, and encouragement through God’s word.
There was one morning, however, that I was faced with a daunting task. We were split up into pairs and asked to translate Proverbs 31, making it more applicable to our modern day lives. Upon reading it over with my partner, I was instantly overwhelmed. Boy, was there a lot to The Wife of Noble Character.
She was more precious than rubies, virtuous and capable, praised publicly for her deeds. Me, be like her? Impossible. I wasn’t even close to being a wife, barely able to do my laundry, homework, and feed myself, so how could I relate to her at all?
I finished my translation with a sheepish shrug, and that was that. For years after the exercise, I remained in my thinking that The Wife of Noble Character was someone beyond my reach. I recently attempted the assignment again, as I embark on a brand new journey in life, and discovered what I’ve been missing all along.
I looked past what she does and looked deeper into how she does it: without fear. Nothing on her To Do List would have been possible without confidence in the Lord and the gifts He gave her. From energy and strength for the tasks at hand to the wisdom she speaks, she puts those gifts to use without fear for what comes next. She is steadfast in her trust that her Creator equipped her for the life He gave her and that is what makes her accomplishments possible.
I imagine her telling me, “You think I did all of this alone? No way. It was all God.”
I have been afraid for far too long — afraid to try, afraid for tomorrow, afraid of others’ opinions — and with that attitude, the Proverbs woman wouldn’t have gotten very far. Fear is what stops us short, what makes us think we can’t tackle what is in front of us.
It deceives us into believing we could never do everything she does. I think she would encourage us to embrace our gifts, laugh with abandon, and trust that our Creator is in control of all things. With Him, we can do our best, and that’s noble.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future.”
– Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)
“Father God, please help me to lay down my fears and instead remember that You are in control of all things. You have equipped me with the strengths and abilities I need in my life, that I may provide for and bless my family and others. Help me trust in You so that I may…”