She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she smiles at the future.
– Proverbs 31:25
On a rainy run last month, I decided to do something my Sunday school teacher had suggested weeks before: make a ten-year plan. “I can do this,” I thought as my feet hit the cobblestone sidewalk. “I plan everything. No sweat.” I decided to take it one year at a time. “2016 – still in college. 2017 – oh! I will be in the real world!” With the realization that I had no true aim for my life after college, I quit.
How do you feel about the future? Uncertain? Anxious? Confused?
Proverbs 31:25 describes a woman who “smiles at the future.” She rejoices at the thought of what is to come.
This sort of optimistic anticipation can be hard. Our finite minds do not know what is ahead of us, and it is easy to become worried about upcoming trials. However, the lady in Proverbs 31 has a joy rooted in faith (Proverbs 31:30). She does not dread the future because she knows that God has an eternal, perfect plan.
One reason that we often find it hard to trust is our pride. In I Peter 5:7, we are told, “Cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you.” In the verse directly before this one, Peter tells his readers to humble themselves. Yet, our desire for control and safety keeps us from giving our burdens to God.
Because this lady is humble and burden-free, she is also strong. Rather than being pulled down with weights, she is free to work and provide. She has nice clothes and is beautiful, but her strength and dignity are the most conspicuous thing about her. This strength is also rooted in her faith and knowledge that the Lord is with her in all circumstances.
Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.
– Joshua 1:9