My heart is heavy as I write this tonight. It’s a heaviness I’m not sure how to explain–not due to grief or guilt but perhaps due to yet another moment of coming to an end of myself.
I am still working my way through Elizabeth George’s A Woman After God’s Own Heart, and while I have been greatly encouraged by it, I have also been slightly overwhelmed by it… in a good way, I suppose. “An excellent wife, who can find?” (Proverbs 31:10). That’s what I want to know!
This afternoon I was reading chapter 14 about a woman’s call to watch over her home and to work hard (“She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27).); and as the chapter laid out exactly what this “excellent”–or “virtuous”–wife looks like, I began to think to myself, “How can I ever be all of that?”
“The word virtuous [in Proverbs 31:10] means moral strength, strength of character. But a second meaning emphasizes physical ability and physical prowess. And Proverbs 31 is all about a virtuous woman in both senses of the word. This portrait reveals her strength of character and moral excellence as well as her strength of body–her industriousness, energy, work, skill, and accomplishments–as she watched over her precious household and refused to eat the bread of idleness.” (Elizabeth George, A Woman After God’s Own Heart (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2006), 169.)
“How can I ever live up to this woman?” I thought. I turned the page and kept reading.
“…God’s principles were His solutions to my disorganization and inefficiencies in my home…. God’s Word has worked for me, helping me tune my heart to His will and His ways. God is faithful and will do the same for you.” (171)
There was the answer, as obvious as could be and yet so easily missed. Just as God had spoken to my heart less than 24 hours prior, He was reiterating to me that the only way to make a better me is to seek Him. Why do I have to make it so hard? Why do I fret about how far I have to go and how much work it will take to get there when all I need to do is to stop and look at God? Just as Elizabeth George realized, so I see that the directions and the means lie with Him.
Oh, how I need God’s grace! Oh, how I need His mercies which fail not and which are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)! Some days I do well just to put a nice meal on the table, let alone to display strength of character, industriousness, hard work, energy, skill, accomplishment…. Oh, dear God, how I need the wisdom of Your Word and the patience of Your guiding hand! Oh, how I desire that my heart be fully after Your own! Dear God, lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake! On You I will wait. In You I will trust. With You I will place my hope. “‘You are my portion,’ says my soul” (Lamentations 3:24a).