I am down here in Florida without class, homework, my husband, and you guys, so I have had a lot of time for reflection! Like Jessica once said, "I can't be alone for too long or I will start thinking crazy things." I know exactly how you feel! But I like to think sometimes those crazy things have little notes from God scattered throughout. And even though this is not what this post is about, I have to tell y'all that the Lord has really dealt with me lately about finding comfort in being alone with Him. You all know that I thrive on talking, a lot, and when there is no one there I feel kind of empty. So I started praying out loud on my way to clinic every morning. About everything I could think of, including you girls and whatever you are dealing with on your drive to clinic. And God has spoken back by filling those empty holes with peace and contentment. Literally, just making those moments where of "Oh no I'm about to cry for no particular reason again" just disappear! I don't have to turn on Netflix to fill every silent moment to keep from going crazy (that was my first two weeks), I hear the Lord telling me that He is here, I am not alone, and reminding me that sometimes I need silence in order to truly hear Him. So don't be afraid of being alone with your thoughts, because in that silence, you are giving your Father room to speak.
"God spoke when there was no inward storm. He could not speak when the mind was fretted; His voice demands the silence of the soul." - Mrs. Charles Cowman
Now what this post is actually about is our next verse in Proverbs...
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Though this verse is still speaking in the context of a wife and her husband, put this in the context of your life; you may be a wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, student physical therapist. What do these concepts mean to you in the place in which God has put you?
Good: to do an activity which is favorable to a circumstance, of quality deemed of value, or of what is right according to a standard
Consider this verse, a kind of counterpart to Proverbs 31.12...
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence... - I Corinthians 7.3
Benevolence: disposition to do good; an act of kindness; a generous gift; favor, grace, indulgence, kindness, mercy, service
These qualities are the disposition of a Christian, meaning this is their natural state or usual attitude. Which of these qualities come naturally? All of them probably do ... to the right people under the right circumstances, right?* I mean, do you really feel gracious to other drivers on the road during your Atlanta commute? I know the answer to this since I have ridden in the car with many of you during rush hour ;)
It seems impossible for all of these qualities to be my natural state of mind, because it is impossible. I need the mind of Jesus, the only One who embodied these characteristics 100% of the time, no matter what kind of day He was having and no matter how many stupid questions His disciples asked... You know a 3-year-long road trip with 12 of your best friends sharing a tent with you every night would reveal your true colors at some point!
So back to our definition of "good", we should hold Jesus Christ, who walked perfectly and blameless, as that standard of right to whom we act according.When talking about producing spiritual fruit, Jesus said,
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things, and an evil man out to the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. - Matthew 12.35
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. - Matthew 6.21
We should purpose in our heart to be a woman who exemplifies that word, "good". Because what we hold in our heart is what we will ultimately give to others.
So what is "good" in God's eyes?And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good...
- Genesis 1.3-4
Such as simple concept, God's creation is good, holy, pure. What God has sanctioned should be treasured by us. Things that are light, things that are good. Not darkness, evil, not things of the world. And just like Eve learned a little later, the evil things of the world are easily disguised as good. But if it is not of God, it is not good. Aren't you glad it is that simple? Let's look deeper into the light that God created...Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life. - John 8.12
Just as Jesus is the Light of the world, bringing salvation to everyone who is willing to receive it, you and I have a purpose in helping that cause.Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick. And it giveth light unto all that are in his house. Let your light so shine before man, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. - Jesus to His followers, Matthew 5.14-16
In a world that likes to mix up right and wrong, we must remember that there is such a thing as Light and Dark, Heaven and Hell, Jesus and Satan. If we are to do good, we must be different than what is bad. Christian, you are set apart, and that is a good thing.** We are called to love all, but not to conform to this world.***
This is me (obviously) at the candlelight vigil for victims of human trafficking during Passion a few years ago. While thousands of us stood outside the Dome, someone started singing and soon it spread:
I'll be a city on a hill, burning brightly,
I'll be a light to the world, shining Your glory.Over and over, it was so beautiful! More beautiful than all the professional singers and the bands in the Dome earlier that night. It was a group of believers gathered, set apart, and proud of being a part of something much bigger than us.
Remember that even though you are set apart from the world, you are a part of something bigger.
God's first creation was the light, and it was good. And we know that He goes on to illustrate the rest of the earth with His beautiful artwork, and just when He takes a rest and it seems like the masterpiece is finished, He states that there is something missing, something is "not good."
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him... And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. - Genesis 2.18,21-22
Girls, this is saying that we were that finishing brush stroke of the Lord's masterpiece! It was not complete until woman was there. Now don't let this go to your head, this is not a point to be used in any domestic disputes, Ladies. Rather, if you are saved, this should give you cause to be proud of your place of royalty as a daughter of the King, proud to embrace your roll as a light in this world! Take hold of the position for which God created you - to live according to the right standard of Jesus Christ in order to give quality deemed of value through acts of kindness, through giving grace, through service to other people. All the days of your life!
I love you girls,
* For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye?.. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again. - Luke 6.32-33, 35
** And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. - Romans 12.2
*** As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good not all men, especially of the household of faith. - Galatians 6.10