The Proverbs 31 passage is well known by Christian woman but it can also be a bit intimidating! The characteristics and habits that make up this woman are truly a thing of beauty, but who can do all those things????
The more I mature as a Christian, I have learned it is not all about the doing. When Christ's love grows in our hearts, bit by bit, He replaces our old with His new. Our focus on 'doing' slowly becomes a part of our 'being'. Instead of mentally checking off a spiritual to do list, we become in action the love God puts in our hearts. It isn't a chore to do, but a desire to share with others what God has given us.
This passage of Proverbs 31 usually speaks to me in short bursts of words. These few powerful phrases work deep in my heart to reveal what the Lord wants to do and create me to become. Some of these phrases are:
- She does him good - our husbands
- willingly works with her hands. - our work ethic
- She also rises while it is yet night - getting up early to prepare for the day
- She girds herself with strength - keep self healthy and fit to prepare for the days task
- She opens her mouth with wisdom - speak words of wisdom and kindness
- She watches over the ways of her household - be diligent and keep on top of the family
A new phrase that is working in my heart is :
"She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy."
Our Lord cares about those in need and calls us also to reach out and lend a helping hand. In our world today, it doesn't take long to see someone in need. In fact, needs can almost be overwhelming to look at. When needs pile upon needs, we wonder, where do we even begin?
Extend our hand....these three words can run deep....but they can also instill a lifestyle change in the heart and allow us to 'be' Christ to others. We may not have an abundance of riches to share, possessions to give, but we can extend our hand to give what we do have and what our Father has. We can share the necessities of life with others - food, clothing, material goods. We can also share what we have been freely given by God and of which there is no limit....grace, hope, love, forgiveness. It has often been quoted that 'people don't care how much you know, until they feel how much you care." Do we care enough to be alert for opportunities to 'extend our hand'? It is in those moments, that God can overflow our hearts with His riches and reach through us to bring glory to Himself. That is what it is truly all about - knowing Him and making Him known.