Every woman who has ever done a women's Bible study, looked at a Christian bookstore's selection of Mother's Day cards, or - let's be honest - stepped foot in a church is familiar with Proverbs 31. "The Wife of Noble Character." The be all, end all guide for godly, Biblical womanhood.
I memorized Proverbs 31:10-31 in college, although I must admit I can no longer recite it straight through. Most Christian women (and men for that matter) know several verses by heart, though - "A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." (v 10) or "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (v 30). But lately God has been gently nudging my heart toward a little verse in the middle of the passage, v 25 -
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
The NAS reads, "she smiles at the future," while the NLT says, "she laughs without fear of the future."
And I think about my default posture as it relates to the days to come.
I plan for the days to come.
I schedule the days to come.
I worry about the days to come.
I save money for the days to come.
I obsess about the days to come.
Not all of these things are inherently bad. The Proverbs 31 woman also works with eager hands and provides food for her family and by no means "eats the bread of idleness." But when it comes to her approach toward the future, she's not fretting or scurrying or bossing people around or anxiously making plans A, B and C.
Oh, Lord, for this to be said of me! Father, give me a heart to receive the truth that I don't need to fear the future. I long to be clothed with strength and dignity, smiling and laughing at what's to come. You are good, and my hope is in you alone. You are sovereign, and funny, and perfect. There's no safer, more peaceful place to be than in the shadow of your wings.