Standing at my kitchen sink yesterday, I thought about her. I thought about her life, her legacy. It drove me crazy! I started washing each dish furiously. "I can't stand her!" I thought. I plunked another dish into the drainer. "How did she do it? Oh, I would love to have that testimony! Wasn't she ever grouchy and tired? What an inspiration she is to me! I can't stand her!!!!" The thoughts see-sawed back in forth in my mind as I continued washing the dishes, feeling grouchier by the minute....yet convicted (Does conviction ever make you grouchy? Sometimes it makes me feel grouchy.). I want to learn from her, but how? How can I learn from one who makes me want to punch her in the nose every once in a while?!
I read her life story, and many times I am inspired and encouraged to keep up the good fight. Other times I sneer at her....her with her impossible perfect life! I grumble when I hear her life being exalted as a paragon of virtue. Then I humbly ask my Saviour to help me follow the Godly example she has set for me.
Who is this woman? She is the lady known as "The Proverbs 31 Woman." Her list of accomplishments is long. I wonder when she found time to sleep! Did she need sleep? My head tells me she had the same 24 hours in a day that I have. My heart shows me how wisely she used her time. I see how organized her life was, and that inspires me to be even more organized! I love schedules and plans, but I really don't love it when my schedule gets "out of whack" and my plans go out the window! It seems that she faced all her interruptions and schedule changes with ease and graciousness. Did she EVER have a bad day? Did she EVER burn the special Valentine cake she was trying to surprise her husband with? Did her hubby EVER walk into the kitchen to find her in tears over that surprise gone wrong? Did her children EVER act wild and crazy? Did she EVER wonder if her children would "get it"?
Here is the answer I got from the Lord. I didn't necessarily like the answer, but if I get it down in my heart to stay, I will be at peace with the "Proverbs 31 Woman" and on my way to being more like her. She knew how to be "invisible." She knew how to be behind the scenes, helping the house and home run smoothly. She had learned to be content in being "invisible." I don't always like the status of "invisible." I want to be noticed and appreciated. But then I am reminded that God notices - even when no one else sees - God sees. My son just read a story in his Reading class that reminded us both to be content - happy where God has put us, happy with the things God has given us, happy with the task God has asked us to do FOR HIM! I am thinking of some ladies that God has placed in my life. They are Godly examples of being "Invisible." They may never know how their "invisible" lives encourage and inspire me, but God knows; and He uses their lives to spur me on to a closer walk with my Lord!
Do I still want to punch that "Proverbs 31 Woman" in the nose? Sometimes....But then I remember the testimony she left behind...."Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." (Prov. 31:28) And then God shows me HIS evaluation of this woman - "...but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." (Prov. 31:30). There are great rewards for the lady who practices the art of "Invisibility"! And so I keep trying.....