The other week I had a mini freak out! The kids were off school sick, I was trying to work from home, we were waiting for Boris Johnson to make an announcement about further lockdowns and the weather had turned very autumnal. It felt like we’d stepped back in time to the beginning of lockdown, and the thought of doing it again for another 6 months filled me with dread. Thankfully in that moment I kept hearing the same phrase “we’re stronger together”.
God in His kindness was pulling me back to Proverbs 31 once again and his strategy to get me through the next 6 months.
I know there’s a lot I can achieve by myself. I can be quite head strong and determined when I want to be and can get a certain amount done without any help. But I know to truly flourish I need the help and support of others.
One of the first verses in Proverbs 31 that really confused me, or can I say annoyed me, was verse 15
“She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food her her household and a portion for her maidservants”Proverbs 31:15
When I first really looked at this verse I had very young children and sleep was sacred. I was tired and exhausted and had no desire to be getting up ‘while it is yet night’ and besides who makes breakfast for their maidservants?!!
As I thought about these verses I realised two things.
- There is no mention of this woman doing any cleaning, or washing clothes. I’d assumed she did everything that I did plus extras. But the reality was she had help from others. She could only achieve all that she did because she accepted help from others.
- Preparing breakfast for them was something she must have enjoyed doing. She sounds like a real foodie (more on that in another post) and I think cooking for them was her way of thanking them for all they did. Can you imagine how those maid servants felt when their boss not just made sure they had food to eat, but prepared it for them herself?!! It’s unheard of!! And it shows how much she valued what they did.
We’re stronger together! God created us to be interdependent and describes his Church as a family and a body. We don’t have maidservants but we can choose to serve others, and allow others to pick us up when we’re down. It can be really hard to admit when we need help so lets start with the easy bit.
A Proverbs 31 woman is one who looks at what she can do to bless others. She sees a need that is within her ability to meet, and takes pleasure in doing it!
There are literally thousands of ways you can help someone else. Maybe you could get groceries for an elderly neighbour, help another parent with school pick ups, use your IT skills to help someone without a computer, take time to phone someone you know is having a hard time, write a card and pop it in the post, or turn up to cheer a friend on. These all may sound simple but can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Did you notice that some of these things you can’t do unless you’ve taken time to listen to the need first? It also takes someone being brave enough to show that their world isn’t perfect.
We love to help others but hate telling people how they can help us, or even accepting that offer of help when it comes. Our pride can stop us from revealing our area of need, and our desire to not be a burden prevents someone else of the joy of giving!
But we’re stronger together!
Can you think of 3 ways or 3 people you could encourage this week and help lighten their load?
What’s an area that you’re struggling with at the moment? Is there someone you could ask to help? Or is there another task that someone else could do so you can focus on the big problem? It could be as simple as asking someone else to hoover, or meet up for a walk so you can take a break, through to asking for help with you marriage or finances.
Remember the joy you get from helping others is the same joy others get when you allow them to help you!
We’re stronger together!