She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)
Carry On, Warrior – She Is Series – Part 2
Like I said yesterday, I have so much baggage around Proverbs 31! And this scripture in particular.
It does offer some encouragement, perhaps even if it is only anecdotal. But I haven’t yet met any woman (or man) who laughs without fear of the future…
More often than not, I’ve compared the standard of this scripture (and all of Proverbs 31, hello… read yesterday's devotion) to my life thinking, “I wish this were me…” It's been who I want to be, rather than an encouragement around who I am. Through the day to day ebb and flow of life, I often feel clothed with frustration and tiredness, lack and emptiness… frowning at tomorrow with worry and apprehension…
But, Eshet Chayil: carry on, warrior.
And carry on you can. Even in frustration and fear and loneliness and heartache and pain and trouble and problems and work deadlines and ill health… strength and dignity will meet you there. And when you meet? It will bring the lightness of laughter to your heart. You know the one, the nervous crazy laugh you do when you think:
This is ridiculous, but here I am anyway!
I never dreamed I’d have the strength to endure this!
Will this even work? Who knows? We’ll give it our best shot.
Is this real life?
Life is nuts, and so am I.
And sometimes, it's the silent smile that spreads across your face when you realize that you don’t have a single clue about what will happen tomorrow, but you have hope that it will lead you somewhere good. The kind of creative goodness that brings out the best in you and others.
Trust those old dusty coats of strength and dignity, and trust that they are yours. Even when your legs are shaking, your hands feel numb, your eyes leak, and your body feels weak, pick them up and place them firmly on your shoulders. Wear them proudly. No matter what.
Carry on, warrior.
This scripture isn't exclusive to women; it applies to everyone. It’s a picture of the Shekhina, the feminine presence of God. And it's also a picture of what the Divine wants us to be in our communities. We are to be a place of strength and dignity for others. When they enter our lives and tell us how weak and feeble and unworthy they are, we give a knowing laugh, and say:
“Me too. Here, wear this.”
Carry on, warrior.
Written by Liz Milani