Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life Lesson | Proverbs 31: 18

"She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night."

How good it feels to be prepared and to know that you will not run out of anything. That is today's verse from our friend, the Proverbs 31 woman.
I don't know about you, but clutter makes me nervous. Just having "things" is not a satisfying feeling for me. The things that I have or like to have around me need to have purpose or sentiment wrapped up in them, otherwise, they begin to make me feel cluttered, and I know it is time for a "house purge".

I think that is what it means to the Proverbs 31 woman to "sense that our gain is good." We can gain lots of material possessions, but if they have no purpose- decoration, usefulness in serving, a family heirloom, or something with a wonderful memory attached- do we have that good sense. At least once a year (now that I have children- it used to be twice a year) I like to go through my home and clean out every inch of closet and cupboard space that I have to make sure that I am not keeping excess. Nothing feels better that opening a drawer and knowing that the only things left are items that I will actually wear or use in some way.
"Her lamp does not go out at night." In Bible times, you couldn't just flip on the light switch in the middle of the night. You needed a sufficient amount of oil for your lamps so they wouldn't go out at night. The ten virgins that Jesus talked about in the New Testament fell asleep waiting for the Bridegroom. While waiting, the oil of five of the girls ran out causing their lamps to die. Needing oil for their lamps, they asked the well prepared girls, but they had only brought enough for themselves- they were responsible for their lamps not the lamps of the other girls. The five foolish virgins had to go looking for a store (in the middle of the night) to find oil for their lamps. When they returned, they found that the Bridegroom had already come and had taken the other five girls to the wedding feast. These five foolish, unprepared girls missed their own wedding day!
Mrs. Proverbs 31 also makes sure that she has sufficient "things" to care for her family and that she never has to rush out to the grocery store because she is short of an item in her pantry. When a hurricane hits (very appropriate for where I live) she doesn't have to worry about making a mad rush to the store for supplies. She already has enough food for her family, stored water, and batteries in case the storm actually comes in her direction. She knows that she has sufficient supplies to care for the well being of her family regardless of the situation. Unexpected company drops by! Not to worry! She has an extra jar of spaghetti sauce and a package of spaghetti to feed her guests without them feeling like they are intruding. An unexpected birthday pops up! Not to worry! She has extra gifts stashed away for just moments like these.
As was mentioned in last Wednesday's post, I am beginning a clean out, yet again, of our home. Every drawer and closet, corner and shelf will get scrutinized to see what is just "stuff" and what is useful to me and my family. If it is junk, it will be tossed or shredded. If it is still good but no longer useful to me, it will either go to a consignment shop, a garage sale, or Goodwill. If it has a purpose or sentimental value attached (and please be picky about that- some people even save gum wrappers because it was from the first piece of gum they shared with their sweetheart!) then it will be put in the place that it will do the most good or be the most useful. What a way to start of the new year!
Memorize Proverbs 31:18

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