Father, I want to work with willing hands, provide sustenance for my household, be profitable in my dealings, and bless others from the increase You bring. Help me sow rightly, that I may reap the good things you have planned for me.
Focus of the Month: Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope
Have you ever started your day feeling like you are just going through the motions? …get up, go to work, come home, do the chores, go to bed, and repeat the next day and the next and the next…for what purpose? What difference does it make? The mundane scenario seemingly repeats day in and day out, draining all energy and sapping every ounce of life from you. Perhaps you have thought, “There’s got to be more to life than this!”
As we have taken a closer look at the precious woman described in Proverbs 31, we have understood that she is treasured by God, created by Him to fulfill purpose, and is invested passionately and confidently in the lives of her loved ones. Today, we dig a little deeper into what this valuable woman does.
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:13-16)
In all of her doing, does she tire? Does she wear down? Does she long for something more? This passage makes no mention of her experiencing exhaustion or growing weary. How is that? With all she accomplishes, you would think her light would extinguish at some point and some things would go left undone…
The Proverbs 31 woman knows her purpose, and therefore is energized and committed. Not only that, she is secure in her “why”, which causes her to burn passionately in her pursuit to accomplish all these good things. It’s one thing to be sure of what we are called to do. It’s an entire new level of excitement and endurance when we are steadfast in the reasons why we are doing those things.
Think of something that causes you to burn inside…that no matter the money, time or energy, you would commit to doing it for the mere cause of the matter. The heart of all the Proverbs 31 woman did was to honor God as she served her household. She allowed God to work through her so that she could bless those whom she loved.
So how do we not grow weary in the repetition of the work, day in and day out? First, focus on your “why”. Are you working to glorify God and bring sustenance to your household? Then do so willingly, with joy and gladness! Work as unto the Lord, and not unto man. Scripture tells us it is the willing and obedient who eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).
Next, work in an area God has purposed you for and called you to. Remember, God has created each one of us with specific purpose. As we fulfill our God-given purpose, God is glorified! Not sure what yours is? Explore what excites you, stirs you, causes you to rise up and speak out. Pursue work in that area. Jesus, Himself, said that He had fulfilled His purpose, and in doing so, God was glorified (John 17:4).
Finally, develop and utilize the gifts God has individually given to you – not just for your good, but for the good of others. Don’t harbor your gifts or keep them under the wrap of your insecurities. Use those gifts and talents – get them into circulation! Be a good steward of the gifts with which God has empowered you. Plant the seeds of your labors, and allow God to bless the work of your hands (Deuteronomy 28:12).
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Find your “why” – your reason – your desire in life – in line with God’s purpose and calling and gifts within you. Pursue those things that align with the passion inside of you. Then work as unto the Lord and not unto man, as you serve others in your gifts and callings. As you do, you will find more and more, like the Proverbs 31 woman, that you will not grow weary in well-doing, and you will indeed reap the rewards of your diligent work and service.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Proverbs 31:13-16; Isaiah 1:19; John 17:4; Matthew 25:14-30; Deuteronomy 28:12; Proverbs 13:12; 1 Peter 4:9-10; Ephesians 2:10, 6:7; Galatians 6:9