Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future (Proverbs 31:25, NASB).
Friend to Friend
I knew that voice. I didn’t need binoculars to confirm it. My oldest son needed help, and I wanted to save him. But all I could do was watch.
Moments before, as we traveled our well-worn path of animal observation at the local zoo, we had stumbled upon something new. We discovered a ropes course, and a sea of hands raised as our kids volunteered to go first.
While my husband escorted four eager kids down the path to the ropes course, I took the younger ones for a bathroom break. A few minutes later, we wove down the tree-lined path and stepped into a clearing, where I found my four oldest children dangling four stories above the ground.
I’m not sure what I expected when I heard the words ropes course, but this wasn’t it. Yes, they were decked out in helmets and safety gear. Yes, they were strapped into harnesses that kept them from plummeting to the ground. But my mama’s heart was still quite uncomfortable with my kids playing near the clouds.
As I pretended to be okay, I knelt next to my children still safely on the ground and coached them to wave at those dots up in the sky. “Yes,” I assured them, “those dots are your brothers and sister.”
It was then that I heard the heart-piercing cry of my son Jonah: “Dad, I’m scared!”
He had gotten away from the others, but before long he’d realized just how far below his feet the safe ground was. Fear had seized him, and there he stood, gripping a rope in each hand. Frozen in fear.
In today’s truth, we meet a woman whom the Bible says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future” (Proverbs 31:25, NASB). I think we each long to be described like this, but I doubt we’d choose these words to define ourselves. Instead, we wonder, how can she possibly smile without fear of the future? When threats swirl around us, is it realistic to think this is possible?
I believe it is. More than that, I believe God wants all His daughters to live clothed with strength and dignity and smile without fear of the future.
On the ropes course that day my son made a few brave choices that I think we can learn from. First, he cried out to his father for help. Second, he listened for his daddy’s voice.
“Jonah, I see you and I’m right here with you,” his dad said. “The first thing you need to do is let go of the rope with your right hand and grab the one in front of you.”
And Jonah did.
“Great job, son. You’re doing great. Now take your right foot and move it onto the step in front of you.”
And Jonah did.
“All right, good, Jonah. You’re doing good. Now you’re going to have to let go with your left hand and reach out for the rope ahead. I know it’s scary, Jonah. But you can do it.”
And Jonah did.
His dad continued to give gentle, patient, step-by-step instructions, and one step at a time, a father guided his son to safety.
To smile without fear of the future, we have to know God’s voice and trust His choices. We have to cry out to God when we’re scared and follow wherever He leads. To do that, we have to know, beyond any doubt, the sound of our heavenly Father’s voice.
Do you know your Father’s voice? When I’m not sure or need to know God’s voice more personally, I read His Word. The more time I spend with God, the more familiar His voice becomes, and the braver my heart grows.
Dear Lord, You sent Your Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for my sins so I might have access to an intimate, personal relationship with You. I want to know Your voice and follow You with childlike faith. Today, as I draw near to You, help me recognize Your voice.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Now It’s Your Turn
Where do you typically turn when you are afraid?
What is one thing you can do today to make more time to read God’s Word and get more familiar with His voice?
More from the Girlfriends
Katy’s new Bible study, She Smiles without Fear: Proverbs 31 for Every Woman, walks you through a step-by-step process to help you look forward to the future with joy. Order your copy today and trade your fear of the future for purpose in the present.
© 2021 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.