New International Version (©1984)
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
New Living Translation (©2007)
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
This post is dedicated to my director of Women’s Ministry, Sherry Fox.
“WOW/Women of Wisdom,” Speak even when we don’t “get it.” Several years ago, I was struggling with. . .today doesn’t look like I want it to. It’s not even close!!! She listened to my today. . .And a couple of weeks later, in the same struggles (yes, they were more intense). . .Sherry said, “I’ve been thinking about this verse for you.” My ears perked up, hoping for something that would help fix my “today.” (We are so into quick fix!!! Fix it now. Fix me now. Fix him now.)
She said simply, Proverbs 31:25, Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. Now I have tremendous respect and I am under her authority, so I only thought. . .Do I look like I’m smiling? 😦 But I asked a question with respect for her wisdom. . .And she basically told me, it was about the future and my faith. The “old” circumstances have waxed and waned and now we have this new challenge that knows nothing about waning, it just waxes along, picking up weakness like a huge ball of snow rolling down a mountain!
A couple of nights ago, a friend read about the Proverbs 31 women and when he got to that verse, Sherry and I made eye contact. I told her later, Sherry I get it. She “smiled” at me and said, “I know you do, I see it.” It’s odd and only God would give me a future to smile at when my very future is threatened every day. I told her in a text (I use text for odd things, like conversations, people that know me are not surprised if they get a thesis from me ;). . .I can be sobbing or ragging at this circumstance, and there is no smile visible on my face. Yet, I experience and I hope those around catch rays of my faith smiling through it. It does not matter whether I feel like smiling or not. . .God has the future, and my faith responds, regardless of my current “feelings.” (Oh, what a mess things are when I rely on my feelings in discernment!)
It is not me, that I need to take seriously, so a sense of humor moves laughter and smiles when I cannot move my legs where I want them and I resemble a pretzel. A sense of irony prompts giggles in the midst of slurred speech with a speech pathologist. (Yes, I am!) A hand of faith reaches far beyond my strained press into the future and it smiles into it. . .Faith that smiles. . .
We are not meant to be satisfied with today, but God’s future. . .now that is where faith reaches beyond and smiles. Thank you, God for tomorrow. We are meant for faith that smiles through the tears. . .Through faith, God has a way of turning my frown in my flesh, upside down into a smile in the spirit!!!
So you WOWs out there, dare to speak it, even when we don’t get it. . .yet. . .Thank you, Sherry. I love you! What an impact you have had in every aspect of my life, marriage, parenting, ministry and friendship! I’ve grown in the Lord, thanks to you! A little bit! I’m toddling along now 🙂