Proverbs 31:14

Slowly my Proverbs 31 journey continues.  It is amazing how great my tendency to rush through things is.  Like a child in the back seat of the car my mind cries out, “are we there yet”?

Proverbs 31 has 31 verses.  Today I am on verse 14.  I am reminded of Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Oh how we long for that “proper time” to arrive.  When will it come?  How much time do we spending thinking about timing?  Have you ever asked yourself these questions:  When will my talents be recognized and rewarded at work?  When will that perfect relationship come along?  When will we be blessed with a child?  When will the healing occur and I feel refreshed or renewed?  When will the wayward family member return? When, when, when, we wonder.

When I have asked myself these questions, I have often times put my hope in the response I wanted.  I hoped that promotion would come.  I hoped that person would be the one.  I hope that I would overcome the physical ailment.   I put my hope in the outcome.  When I thought the answer was coming I would get so excited.  Then when it appeared it was not the case, my heart was crushed.  I would return to my questions of when?  The LORD only knows.

The Bible does offer us direction and comfort.  It tells us where we should put our hope regardless of what we are waiting for.  Psalm 130:5 says,”I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”  God is responsible for the timing and the outcome, yet He wants us to enjoy the journey with Him.  He wants us to put our hope in His Word, His faithful promises.  For there is so much that can be learned along the way. Today, let’s put our hope in His Word.

“She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.”  Proverbs 31:14 NIV

    “She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.”                              Proverbs 31:14 Message

“She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.”  Proverbs 31:14 NLT

Tuesday we looked at a verse that talked about clothing.  Today we’re talking about food.  Isn’t it so amazing how God tenderly addresses all of the basics.  Food seems like such a simple thing to talk about, but what a huge role does food preparation take in caring for our families?

If I sat down and really tracked how much time I spent doing some activity related to food, I believe I would be amazed.  There’s the time actually spent eating.  There’s time preparing meals.  There’s time planning meals.  There’s time cleaning up after meals.  I spend time writing grocery lists to match the meal plans.  There’s time spent reviewing recipes to try something new.  Let’s not forget searching through ads and coupons to get better deals.  Then revising menus when we find out we don’t have everything we thought we had for a specific meal.  That’s a lot of time.

It says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  This is a Bible verse that brings me hope.  Through doing it all, we can bring glory to the Lord.  God knew we’d spend a significant amount of time preparing food for our family.  He says we can do it for Him and bring Him glory.

Isn’t it such a blessing that God just wants to be with us no matter what we are doing?  He comes to us and comes with us.  Who knew that cutting vegetables and putting away leftovers could be an act of worship!

Verse 14 talks about our Proverbs 31 woman being like a merchant or trading ship.  Merchant ships went to far off places.  They brought items of value, specialties, from one place to another.  Think of all the goodies that must have been in the cargo areas of those ships; the packages, boxes, and bags of items.

Yes, I understand this verse.  The picture that came into my mind just made me laugh.  I have a trading ship.  My model is blue Dodge Grand Caravan.  I travel to distant places. I travel about 16 miles from our home in the country to Walmart and the local Grocery stores.  I bring with me a host of stuff that needs to be taken care of.  Recyclables to be dropped off, letters to buy postage for, library books to be returned, movies taken to the rental place.

When I arrive home I’ve got a cooler and bags filled with stuff to put away.  My family is always in search of the “exotic surprises” that come home from a shopping trip.  Grapes for my daughter, Zoey.  Bread for the garlic toast my son, Andrew, adores.  Corn on the cob for my husband, Eric.  “Taste and see that the LORD is good”  Psalm 34:8  I guess I never really thought that the way I feed my family is a huge opportunity to show them just how good the Lord is.

Caring for the food of our households is an act of worship and an act of ministry.  Isn’t it just amazing how God continues to work on us and to reveal to us how great His is through the smallest of actions?  Wow!  Let’s be in awe of the LORD and His awesomeness!

Dearest LORD,

Thank you so much for who You are!  Thank You for the way You so graciously care about and tend to the tiniest of details.  Thank You for making the everyday tasks, which so often seem tedious to us, to be amazing opportunities to worship and serve. 

Today through all of our meals, our snacks, our shopping trips and our planning may we bring glory to Your name.  May we perform our tasks as if we were only performing them for You.

Whatever shape, model or make of our merchant ships may You bless our travels.  May we recognize that You are ever present.  May we draw great hope for our day from Your Word and not place our hope in what we wish the outcomes of our circumstances to be.

You are faithful God, so faithful to us.  Thank You!

In Jesus name, Amen.

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