It never ceases to amaze me. Reading through a passage of Scripture I’ve viewed so many times before only to find this time around something captures my attention like never before.
It happened this morning as I turned to Proverbs 31 and the familiar passage about the virtuous woman who fears the Lord. Verse 25 grabbed me by the jugular. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
Really? She laughs at the time to come? I’m waiting typically for the next email bearing bad news to hit my inbox DAILY. Good humor about future developments in a broken cosmos doesn’t usually describe my frame of mind. Not so the godly woman who stands in awe of God. Her rally cry? “Go ahead future. Give me your best shot. I laugh in your face!”
This woman must sink her anchor deep in the bedrock of God’s sovereignty to take on an uncertain future with such good humor.
I suppose it caught my attention in part because of what I read the day before about Nancy Reagan in Peggy Noonan’s best seller biography of President Ronald Reagan, When Character Was King. The author interviewed the president’s wife about what it was like to cope with the idea of walking into history as Mrs. Reagan. She admitted she had no idea that was the case. Noonan inquired, “So how did you learn to do your part?” She replied:
Oh, Peggy, you take it each day and you learn along the way. You know, somebody at the hospital recently, when Ronnie broke his hip–someone told me, ‘We were afraid to tell you about it, that his hip was broken, we were afraid it would be too much for you.’ You know, I looked at them and I said, ‘Listen, think back on my life for a moment. I’ve seen my husband shot, I’ve seen his two cancer operations, I’ve seen him thrown from a horse, I’ve seen his brain operation. And if I didn’t fall apart for any of those, I’m not going to fall apart for this. Don’t worry about telling me what you have to tell me” (p. 136-37).
OK, so maybe that doesn’t equate to laughing at the future, but it certainly comes close. And it reveals a secret to facing the future with faith rather than fear. Calculate the faithfulness of God in seeing you through a perilous past and you may well find the strength to step into the future with a trusting-in-God smile on your face.
Thank you Proverbs 31 woman. You make me want to be a Proverbs 31 man.