She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)
Laughing at the days to come? Nope.
Is that okay? Is that right? Is it wrong? How in the world can we be clothed with strength and dignity when we feel so completely weak and undignified?
I lost my strength many months ago… my mental, physical, and emotional strength are non-existent. I think the answer is in a scripture God has brought me to so many times…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
Maybe what Proverbs 31:25 means by ‘clothed with strength’, is, ‘clothed with God’s strength’.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
I lost my dignity when I couldn’t tie my shoes, or read, or add seven plus four, or remember my friend’s name, or how old I am, or had to quit something I said I would do. If we think along the same lines of being clothed in God’s strength, though, this also makes so much more sense! We may have lost all of what we consider our dignity, but it’s really God’s glory* we want to be showing the world, and be clothed in, right?
Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 1 Chronicles 16:28 (NIV)
We want to be clothed in God’s dignity, even if the world may not necessarily see it as dignity.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV)
- Laughing at the days to come
As for laughing at the days to come, right now I feel more like the Psalmist here:
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
Psalm 73:14 (NIV)
It’s hard to laugh when every morning brings new pain. Even if every morning brings new pain, though, guess what else every new morning brings?
Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. Isaiah 33:2 (NIV)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamatations 3:22-23 (NIV)
It’s so much easier to fear, though, isn’t it, when every morning brings new pain? The things is, the fear is not the truth.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
We are not supposed to be chained by fear! We are God’s children! We have full confidence in Him, that He will carry us through everything, and protect us! In Him, we have the power to choose joy, to choose to smile and laugh at the day He has given us as a gift to be apart of, rather than cower and be afraid.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
*P.S. A good article on glory and dignity I want to share is here.