Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future (Proverbs 31:25 NASB).
Friend to Friend
I needed help. That was not a question.
With three little boys and a baby girl soon to be born, there were things I couldn’t do anymore. So when my sweet husband came home from a long day at work, he formed a habit of taking care of the things that were now difficult for me.
He helped me bathe the kids, feed the dogs, put away towels and just about anything else that required bending or reaching.
I was so very thankful for his willing heart and helping hands; but one day as he sat down next to me, I realized something. While I loved all of the things Luke was doing for me, I wouldn’t want him to only do those things for me.
Sometimes—in fact most of the time—I would much rather him sit down beside me and be with me instead of doing things for me. That’s how we connect in a meaningful, fulfilling way.
I think at times we miss this piece of our relationships with God. We’re always on the move, doing things for Jesus, but never taking time to sit with Him.
Today’s Truth describes a woman who smiles at the future without fear, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future” (Proverbs 31:25).
You may read this verse and, in the landscape of today’s world, feel like you could never smile without fear of the future. Or you may read some of the verses that surround our key verse and determine this woman must be some sort of spiritual superhero who doesn’t have anything to fear.
At first glance, the road to smiling without fear of the future might seem daunting. But let’s look at these verses through a different lens.
There’s a heart behind this, for the woman in Proverbs 31 and for us. The smile we desire to find is not something we work our way into. It’s something we receive as we respond to God.
To smile without fear, sometimes we need to spend less time doing and more time being with Jesus.
When we remain in Christ, we root ourselves in His presence. When we live rooted in God’s presence, fear has no place to grow. We may not be able to control every detail of the future, but we can live in God’s presence and love every day (John 15:1-15).
Several years ago, a friend introduced me to a simple but powerful way to spend less time doing and more time being with Jesus. It involved quieting myself and being still. I very much disliked her idea because it felt futile and unproductive. But as she kept prompting me to do it—and I kept reluctantly obliging—I began to understand why she wanted me to do this. Because when I sat still, God met me in my quiet times with Him.
I want to encourage you to try something. At the end of each day this week, be still. Take two or three minutes and quiet your thoughts, your body, your phone, your television, and anything else that makes noise. Then sit with your heart fixed on Jesus.
It sounds easy enough, but you may find it difficult, especially in the first few days. After a matter of seconds, you may find yourself making a grocery list or scrolling through what you have to do when this time is over. You may start to fall asleep or hum a song you heard on the radio earlier in the day. And that’s okay. Shake it off and refocus. A part of being still is practicing.
Remember, we’re not even bringing our requests to God during this time. As you do this each day, you may end up setting that timer for longer and longer amounts of time with Jesus.
I can think of no better way to begin a new year than to spend less time doing and more time being with Jesus.
So let’s put our first step into action.
How will you spend less time doing and more time being with Jesus today?
Dear God, I want to smile without fear this year as I abide in You in a deeper way. As a new year begins, help me quiet my heart. Before I rush into new plans and resolutions, teach me to be still and prioritize my time with You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When will you spend time being still with Jesus?
Make a plan for how you will spend less time doing and more time being with Jesus. Where will you spend this time? For how long? What might you need to do to make sure this time is free of interruptions?
More from the Girlfriends
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© 2022 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.
THANK YOU FOR THIS ENCOURAGING DEVOTION. FEAR HAS DEFINED MOST OF MY LIFE.AS A CHILD I EXPERIENCED TERROR IN MY HOME DUE TO A FAMILY MEMBER USING DRUGS AND TERRORIZING OUR FAMILY AT NIGHT WHILE HIGH ON DRUGS OR DRUNK FROM ALCOHOL. MY FATHER WAS ABSENT AND NEVER REALLY IN MY LIFE SO NO PROTECTION CAME FROM HIM. IVE REALIZED THAT I HAVE POST TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME FROM WHAT I SAW AND EXPERIENCED AS A CHILD. PRAISE GOD HE ALWAYS PROTECTED ME AND HE WAS MY FATHER EVEN THOUGH I COULD NOT SEE IT AT THE TIME. AS I AM NEARING MY 60S I AM LEARNING TO FEAR LESS AND TRUST MORE. I TOO SEE THE NEED TO SLOW DOWN AND JUST BE. IT IS VERY HARD FOR ME TO DO BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS FELT LIKE I NEEDED TO EARN LOVE, LIKE IF I WERENT DOING FOR EVERYONE IN MY LIFE THEY WOULDNT LOVE ME. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME THAT I WILL LEARN TO SIT AT THE FEET OF MY SWEET JESUS AND JUST BE THIS YEAR. I KNOW IN MY HEAD THAT THE WAY I FEAR IS WRONG BUT IT JUST COMES AND ENGULFS ME SOMETIMES. THEN I FEEL GUILTY THAT I AM FEARING AGAIN AND NOT TRUSTING. MY PRAYER IS THAT I WILL BE AN OVERCOMER THIS YEAR . THANKS AGAIN FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO SHARE YOUR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WITH US.
Hi Wanda, I understand the feeling of needing to earn love. I love your heart to seek Jesus and sit at His feet. I’m praying for you right now and know Jesus will meet you right where you are!
Hi Wanda, I absolutely understand your thoughts and feelings. They certainly resonate with me. I also “try” to trust more and then feel guilty when I’m not “trusting enough“. Sometimes, when I am able to realize that I trust God, but not myself, things become clearer. Then, I remind myself that God made me exactly how I am, with my abilities and my weaknesses. He knows exactly where I am and he’s bigger than my insufficiency. He knows that I have trouble trusting sometimes and is good with that and helping me trust a little more each day. When I remember that I am right with God, regardless of my challenges, it puts me more at ease and helps me feel closer to God. Ironically, remembering that I have difficulty trusting and this is part of the human condition, makes it easier for me to trust and give myself a break as I grow in trust
Amen Peggy! I love what you said “when I realize I am right with God, regardless of my challenges.” There’s such comfort and freedom in that truth.