Purposeful Faith has been delighted to have Katy McCown join us as a guest contributor. Her insights have compelled our heart to love God more and more. We wish her only the best as she follows God in the next chapter of her life. Katie, thank you for being you. You glorify God in a powerful way!
Post by Katy McCown
In Proverbs 31 God introduces us to this woman,
“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)
And the hearts of all God’s girls say, Yes, please!
But deep down we wonder, Is this really attainable? Does her newspaper tell the same stories mine tells? No way she considers college costs and laughs.
Before we talk about the laugh we long for, let’s assess our current condition.
How does your sentence end?
She ________ ?
To help you fill in the blank, consider how you might respond in this moment:
You expect your husband (or friend, sister, mom, etc.) to meet you for dinner. You wait 30 minutes and he’s a no-show. What thoughts race through your head while you wait?
- He’s hurt. Your heart beats faster and your palms begin to sweat. What route did he take to get here? You check your phone for a missed call from a number you don’t know and consider grabbing your keys to bolt for the car and re-trace the path he would have driven to the restaurant.
- He doesn’t care. While you wait you replay all the ways you don’t measure up. Your head drops and a tear may even cloud your eye as you pick yourself apart and tear yourself to shreds. No wonder he’s not here.
- He’s not worth it. Your fingers drum the table as your blood pressure rises. You run through the long list of demands still on your plate. How dare he waste my time.
If number one is your instinctive response, your blank may be filled with words like: She worries. She fears. She panics.
If you identify with number two, maybe these words strike a chord: She compares. She doubts.
If option three nails you on the head, then maybe you describe yourself as: She erupts. She controls.
Maybe you’re like me (and Goldilocks) and you’ve tested all three seats, but still haven’t found the one that’s just right. The bad news is that leaves us all scared, sad or sorta mean. But there is good news!
In her book Living So That, Wendy Blight writes,
“Emotionally, our faith is often muddled by fear, hesitancy, and doubt. But our feelings become irrelevant when Jesus is the object of our faith – when He alone is the One in whom we trust.”
Our faith hangs not on the future, but on the One who holds the future.
The woman God paints in Proverbs 31 fears nothing – not because of earthly security or stable emotions, but because of the position and condition of her heart.
She laughs, because she trusts.
“My friends, we are not those who give up hope and so are lost; but we are of the company who live by faith and so are saved.” Hebrews 10:39 (The Voice)
A few days ago all the stars aligned and every, single, one of my six children.
Fell asleep at the exact, same, time during the afternoon.
I tip-toed to my room as fast as tip-toes can carry a tired mama and nestled into the pillows with a smile from one ear to the other. Thank you, God, for the blessing of these few minutes. Thank you, God, for rest. Thank you, God, for
Bzzz … Bzzz … Bzzzzzzzzzz!
Get out! I screamed to the fly as I fanned my hand in circles. I tried to sink back into my tranquil state but to no avail.
Someone left the door open and let a pest in the house.
Bzzz … Bzzz … Bzzzzzzzzzz!
Strategy #1: Ignore it.
Failed. How does one tiny fly know just where to buzz to drive a person millions of times bigger than him CRAZY.
Strategy #2: Avoid it.
Success! Or so I thought. With the help of some spare pillows, I erected a teepee-type structure around my head. And it worked. No more fly. No more buzzing. Back to sweet dreams and silence.
The only problem … I painted myself into a corner. Even the slightest shift of an arm would bring the teepee tumbling down.
Instead of freeing myself from the problem, I trapped myself with a faulty solution.
Is there a pest wreaking havoc in your heart? In your haste to handle the problem, have you set up walls that prevent growth instead of providing protection?
If we want to laugh without fear of the future it’s time to clean house … or heart. Drive out the pests that torment & trap.
If you’ve ever tried to get a fly to do anything you know the dilemma. It reminds me of Shakespeare, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.“
The pests in our hearts put up a fierce fight. Sometimes they outwit. Sometimes they hide or blend into the surroundings. Sometimes they outlast us.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
The pest in your heart has a name. The devil pursues you. He waits for the crack in the door. He invades and attacks with relentless force. Something tells me you know this already.
Defeating the devil requires you to do more than ignore or avoid.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
To actively keep my heart, I employ 3 Strategies:
- Be Alert! Identify the poison Satan feeds your heart and slam on the brakes (1 Peter 5:8).
- Replace lies with Truth! Make every thought obedient to God’s Word (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Choose Faith! Show your belief by what you do (Jame 2:18-24).
So, how would the lady who laughs at the future approach the problem at the restaurant? I bet she prays. She tells God her fears, doubts or anger and begs for His truth to take over. She re-directs her toxic path to one focused on His Words and filled with His promises. And as she chooses to believe Him, she laughs.
“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:23-24 (NLT)
She laughs without fear of the future. Is this attainable?
I have to believe it is and, more than that, anything less is a life not suited for the daughter of the King.
Special thanks to Meagan at Ancient Verse for donating the artwork in the photo at the top of this post.