by Nichole Deakins
“…she can laugh at the days to come.”
Many of us are very familiar with the Proverbs 31 epilogue, the description of a noble wife. She is a hard worker, vigorously caring for her children, making wise business transactions, helping the needy, and taking care of all the household affairs. She seems to have it all together. Life looks easy for this mom and wife of the year.
Every time I read this chapter I’m inspired to be like this woman. However, I’m going to wait before I add all these noble traits to my New Year’s resolution list. I don’t believe making a list of resolutions is where we start to change ourselves. We can easily make a list and start working on our nobility. However, like most resolutions, they last a couple of weeks and if we are really self-disciplined, maybe a month. There is more to this woman than doing all the right things, making all the right choices, and living a perfect life.
She can laugh. In fact she laughs AT the days to come, almost mockingly. Not the social laugh that is poised, the one we express in social circles as a way to connect. No…this woman has an internal posture that gives her the ability to find humor and joy in what is to come even though the future is undoubtedly uncertain and holds no guarantees. Her ability to laugh is rightly viewed as strength in this passage.
And let’s remember that strength and wisdom only develop on the proving ground of trial and error. It is often our struggles and challenges which produce maturity and finer character. Therefore, it’s easy to assume this woman of Proverbs had problems too, even though scripture does not tell us so. In fact, in order for us to even relate to this noble woman or to aspire to be like her, we would have to surmise she made a mistake a time or two. She had conflicts in the workplace, ungrateful children at times, unexpected bills and health concerns, aging parents, hormones, and even heartache and loss.
And yet, she can laugh. Her laughter is the external expression of how she views life. She knows life’s circumstances do not define her. She knows who she is and Whom she belongs to. She can smile and even laugh in the face of uncertainty, because her identity in God is spiritually sound. Neither her nobility nor her fears are based in what others say, do, or believe. Her security is not contingent on external happenings but grounded in the assurance that she serves and fears a trustworthy God. From her stance, difficulties dissolve into non-threatening challenges she can overcome because she does not battle life alone. In fact, many of the battles are not even hers to fight; she knows the difference. She knows Who is in charge, Who is on her side, Who sees the bigger picture, Who wins the ultimate war, and Who really has it all together.
When the “days to come” looked very bleak to Job, God reminded him of who He is and what He is capable of stirring in the heart of His creation:
“Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make him leap like a locust striking terror with his proud snorting?
He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray.
He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword.
In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground;
he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.”
Job 39:19-22,24 NIV
Proverbs 31 is not about making a list with the hope of changing ourselves. It’s about finding ourselves: who we truly are and what we are capable of in His strength. Our position of nobility does not come from our vigorous efforts to be woman of the year but by claiming our noble bloodline and birthright through Christ.
Noble women, find where your true nobility and strength lies. May the Lord help us believe Who we belong to so that we may charge into the fray, rejoicing in His strength, afraid of nothing. We will then see the fear of uncertainty in the days to come be dismissed by the noble strength of laughter.
Let God’s words in Job 39 speak to you through this short video.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX99IWLo8wI)