…and she stretches out her hands to the needy.
As I prepare for my return to the Land of a Thousand Hills, my mind is racing. Thoughts of the Kingdom are coming and going, and crossing paths on their way in and way out. Ideas are becoming linked- they are explaining one another and making light of those that have rested in darkness for so long.
Truth comes to life and beauty radiates as the light Jesus promises is uncovered from the dusty lampshade of confusion.
I am a Proverbs 31 Woman.
For many months now, I have prayed along with my best friend that I would truly understand what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Beyond that- I prayed I would learn to walk in it. This has become even more weighty in my mind over the past few weeks as I have thought about my return to Rwanda. So many questions entered my world of secret thinking.
Am I really a Proverbs 31 woman?
What does this mean?
Can I really be a good wife if I am running off to Rwanda?
As I began my day, I asked the Lord if He would help me understand more about being a Proverbs 31 woman. He promptly responded:
“YOU ARE A PROVERBS 31 WOMAN.”
In attempts to understand the words the Lord spoke, I opened my bible and intentionally pondered each verse of the passage. I was overwhelmed as I reached verse 20.
SHE EXTENDS HER HAND TO THE POOR, AND SHE STRETCHES OUT HER HANDS TO THE NEEDY.
God whispered to me and said, “Don’t you realize that you are doing just that?”
I actually found myself a little confused. I naively pondered what He could be talking about. It was then that I realized He was speaking about my journey to Rwanda. I am going there to work with my hands in delight, to extend my hand to the poor, and to stretch out my hands to the needy.
Yes, there is more to being a Proverbs 31 woman than just this, but it certainly cannot be ignored.
The man the Lord has prepared for me from the beginning of time will notice me because his heart is for a Proverbs 31 woman. He will see my heart for the poor and the needy, and he will recognize that as a characteristic of a Proverbs 31 woman.
I am humbled and honored that I can rest in the truth spoken by my Daddy. I do not have to be anxious or concerned that I am tarnishing my character as a Proverbs 31 woman. Instead, I am experiencing the fulness of what it means, and doing so with great delight.
The Woman Who Fears the LORD
10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.