“She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.” Proverbs 31:22 (NIV)
“She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.” Proverbs 31:22 (NLT)
“She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.” Proverbs 31:22 (Message)
As I read this verse, I begin to question my Proverbs 31 journey. My first thoughts are, wait haven’t I been here before? Isn’t this redundant? Didn’t I already study about the linens she makes? It certainly doesn’t excite me or infuse me with motivation to continue on this path.
Doesn’t every journey have a moment like this; a moment where we wonder if we should continue, turn around, go back, take a different path or just stop? Perhaps it is just a feeling. A feeling that this is not worth doing any longer. Feelings come and go, but the Truth shall always remain.
The truth is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is His love letter to us. There is much about God that I do not understand. He is the Creator of the heavens and earth. There are just some things that will be left to Him. Like it says is Psalm 139:6, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”
Relying on the fact that the Bible is God’s Word and He knows what He is doing in all His perfection, I know there’s a reason for this verse to be here. I know that there is something God wants to show me. I’m just not sure what that is. I do trust that “the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit; joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:11)
I think it’s times like these that really help me act on my commitment to my faith; to continue on when it doesn’t feel exciting or encouraging. To not stop in the face of a feeling. I trust God to show me what He wants to. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new stream of messages that I will receive in the upcoming weeks via people, songs, road signs, sermons and books that I’m reading. Or maybe it’s just not time and 27 years from now God will bless me with a great revelation upon this verse. Potentially, this is it. This is the one time I will fully study this single verse before I go home to heaven.
The point is that we don’t know everything. That is good. It’s not our job to know everything. That role belongs to God. It’s our job to come to Him. To praise Him and worship Him because He is good. His understanding is perfect. He is love. He loves me and He loves you. You are an absolute treasure to Him. When there’s things we don’t understand and when we don’t feel motivated, He still wants us to come. We never know what He will do or when He will do it.
This segment of Proverbs 31 says “she makes coverings for her bed.” She is so talented and capable. Mrs. Proverbs 31 selects fibers, spins it and weaves it into coverings for her family. She gets them ready for winter and has blankets on the beds for them to rest in while they recover from their day of work. My guess is that she had a knack for making her home a place of peace and rest.
Have you ever visited someone who has a home like this? I have. From the moment you walk in the door it’s as if someone just lifted the weight of the your world off your shoulders. You were welcomed in and your needs were met. Perhaps you were offered something to drink or eat. Maybe you were offered the opportunity to share what was really going on; you were listened to by open and empathetic ears. It could be that you received a hug and open arms to cry in, allowing the pressure of your sorrows to be released.
These all may seem like small acts but picture the environment they create. Words that I would use to describe such a home would be peaceful, comforting, loving, merciful, encouraging, faithful, filled with compassion, healing and sustaining. Those are also all words that could be used to describe Jesus himself. Isn’t that amazing!
Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Jesus said when we do the little things for people, like making sure there was a blanket on the bed, we do them for Him. Perhaps that is why when we do them it changes the environment to a point that we could describe our experience to the point that we would describe Jesus.
Oh to have a home that welcomes people in with compassion, grace, mercy and love! That is my desire. That is what I long to do. It may seem like a major undertaking to do it, but really it’s about the small things that care for and build up people. I can’t say that I am there yet. I can’t give a description of what it is like to come into my own home, you would have to ask one of my recent guests how I am doing.
What I know is this. I try. I try to do what I can. I try to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them too often. Some days are better than others. I believe the Proverbs 31 woman was the same way. I don’t think God honored her by recording her story because she was perfect. Only God is perfect. I think God made a record of her life because she tried.
I’m sure there were days her thread got in a big knotted mess. I’m sure there was burned dinners at her house. I bet she even got sick sometimes and needed to lie under those bed coverings herself. When she got up each day, she tried.
Perhaps Proverbs 31 is like the eulogy of a noble wife. Looking back this is a picture of how she lived her life. This is the culmination of what years of trying, years of being faithful in the little things and years of working with her heart first produced. This is the legacy of lasting positive change left upon the world by her being here.
God tells us that we, too, can leave a legacy of lasting positive change upon the world we live in, if we are faithful with the smallest of assignments that he gives us. It all starts with going to Him and giving Him our best every day, no matter how meager that may seem.
God + me = Proverbs 31 I shall be
Thank You so much for Your faithfulness and Your goodness. Thank you for all of the ways that You use the small to accomplish the mighty. You are truly amazing and wondrous. You are too great for my mind to comprehend. Thank You for being You and for allowing us to freely come to You, just as we are.
Lord I lift up to You each person who reads my meager words. I pray that it may uplift them and give them encouragement. Lord, I pray that they draw strength from You, especially for those days where the motivation is gone and the feelings are dragging behind. Help us in all our weaknesses to experience Your perfect strength.
Please help us all to be faithful with the small. May we see the potential for greatness in each tiny detail we tend to. Thank You for all of the details You are tending to in our lives; the ones we see and the ones unseen.
May we give You the best of our love today. In Jesus name, Amen.