*Hi to my friends joining me from the Encouragement for Today devotion! I’m so glad you’re here.
In Proverbs 31 God introduces us to this woman,
She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)
And the hearts of all God’s girls say, Yes, please!
But deep down we wonder, Is this really attainable? Does her newspaper tell the same stories mine tells?
Before we talk about the laugh we long for, let’s assess our current condition.
How does your sentence end?
She ________ ?
To help you fill in the blank, consider how you might respond in this moment:
You expect your husband (or friend, sister, mom, etc.) to meet you for dinner. You wait 30 minutes and he’s a no-show. What thoughts race through your head while you wait?
- He’s hurt. What route did he take to get here? You check your phone for a missed call from a number you don’t know and consider grabbing your keys to bolt for the car and re-trace the path he would have driven to the restaurant.
- He doesn’t care. Your head drops and a tear may even cloud your eye as you pick yourself apart and tear yourself to shreds. No wonder he’s not here.
- He’s not worth it. Your fingers drum the table as you run through the long list of demands still on your plate. How dare he waste my time.
If #1 is your instinctive response, your blank may be filled with words like: She worries. She fears. She panics.
If you identify with #2, maybe these words strike a chord: She compares. She doubts.
If option #3 nails you on the head, then maybe you describe yourself as: She erupts. She controls.
Maybe you’re like me (and Goldilocks) and you’ve tested all three seats, but still haven’t found the one that’s just right. But there is good news!
In her book Living So That, Wendy Blight writes,
Emotionally, our faith is often muddled by fear, hesitancy, and doubt. But our feelings become irrelevant when Jesus is the object of our faith – when He alone is the One in whom we trust.”
Our faith hangs not on the future, but on the One who holds the future.
The woman God paints in Proverbs 31 fears nothing – not because of earthly security or stable emotions, but because of the position and condition of her heart.
She laughs, because she trusts.
One day all the stars aligned and EVERY SINGLE ONE of my children fell asleep at the EXACT SAME TIME.
I tip-toed to my room as fast as tip-toes can carry a tired mama and nestled into the pillows with a smile from one ear to the other. Thank you, God, for the blessing of these few minutes. Thank you, God, for rest. Thank you, God, for
Bzzz … Bzzz … Bzzzzzzzzzz!
Get out! I screamed to the fly as I fanned my hand in circles. I tried to sink back into my tranquil state but to no avail.
Someone left the door open and let a pest in the house.
Bzzz … Bzzz … Bzzzzzzzzzz!
Strategy #1: Ignore it. Failed. How does one tiny fly know just where to buzz to drive a person a million times bigger than him crazy.
Strategy #2: Avoid it. Success! Or so I thought. With the help of spare pillows, I erected a teepee-type structure around my head. And it worked. No more buzzing. Back to sweet dreams and silence.
The only problem … I painted myself into a corner. Even the slightest shift of an arm would bring the teepee tumbling down.
Instead of freeing myself from the problem, I trapped myself with a faulty solution.
Is there a pest wreaking havoc in your heart? In your haste to handle the problem, have you set up walls that prevent growth instead of providing protection?
If we want to laugh without fear of the future it’s time to clean house … or heart. The pests in our hearts put up a fierce fight. Sometimes they outwit. Sometimes they hide or blend in to the surroundings. Sometimes they outlast us.
The pest in your heart has a name. The devil pursues you. He waits for the crack in the door. He invades and attacks with relentless force. Something tells me you know this already.
Defeating the devil requires you to do more than ignore or avoid.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
To move my heart past fear and into fellowship with Jesus, I use these 3 strategies:
- Say it out loud. When we hide fear in our hearts, we isolate ourselves and our souls. Our fears feed on the distance and choke out any voice of truth, reason or peace. But when we find courage to speak our fears audibly, whether to God or to a trusted friend or family member, we close the gap. And often times find others feel the same way.
- Replace lies with truth. We can talk ourselves into believing it’s necessary to worry or fear the future … that somehow we’ll be better prepared. But that’s not what Jesus says! God’s Word is full of verses that tell us not to fear. I’d love to give you a list of promises from God’s Word to help you fight fear. Subscribe to my blog in the left-hand column and I’ll send them to you!
- Be thankful. Being thankful turns our thoughts away from our concerns and onto God’s goodness. The book of psalms is stacked with chapters of praise and thanksgiving to God and all of His great works. Can you find one thing to say thank you for today?
She laughs without fear of the future. Is this attainable? I have to believe it is and, more than that, anything less is a life not suited for the daughter of the King.
Let’s take number 3 for a test drive and use the comments section to be thankful! Finish this sentence: God, I’m so thankful …