How to Be Ready for Anything

Kathi Lipp
Kathi Lipp

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25, NIV)

I need to make a confession.

Promise to keep it between us?

For years, there was one part of the Bible I kinda, sorta just skipped over.

Proverbs 31.

Yep. The wife of “noble character” (Proverbs 31:10, NIV).

Ugh. (Sorry, did I write that aloud?)

Have you seen the rundown of what it takes to live up to her standard? Here’s a partial list of what she gets done on the regular:

She works with textiles. (I failed eighth grade home economics.)

She starts working and cooking before the crack of dawn. (I need at least two cups of coffee before I even attempt to function.)

She is a real estate mogul and a farmer. (I can’t keep a houseplant alive.)

She has buff arms. (I can’t even …)

She makes her family’s clothes. (See my eighth-grade failure.)

Not only was she not behind, she was so far ahead of the game, she couldn’t hear the game calling out to her.

I mean, couldn’t I just be a wife of OK character and try a little less hard?

As you might have guessed, there was very little about me that was like the Proverbs 31 woman. Especially when it came to being prepared.

I would buy groceries that sounded great to me. “Carrots! I want to be healthy! Nutella! I deserve a treat!”

But when I brought them home and tried to create actual meals out of the mishmash of stuff, let’s just say my culinary efforts would have gotten me kicked off of Chopped. Actually, I would have been a contender for Worst Cooks in America.

And if I had a dollar, I spent a dollar … and a half. I was always overdrawn. In my bank account, on my calendar and in my relationships. I was constantly borrowing against my future, always falling further behind.

I justified this lack of being prepared by telling myself that being prepared is for people who don’t trust God.

But that statement wasn’t faith — it was fear dressed up in its Sunday best.

Let’s get back to the Proverbs 31 woman.

It took me really reading this portion of Scripture to understand that she wasn’t showing off or trying to show me up. She was taking care of her family so she could also take care of others.

She wasn’t just looking out for herself. She was prepared so she could also help her community.

And then, just a few verses down, these words stopped me.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25).

Instead of living in fear and making excuses for why she wasn’t prepared, not only did she prepare her family, but she was prepared enough to help others who couldn’t help themselves.

She wasn’t frantic. She wasn’t in a panic. She wasn’t perfect — but she was ready for anything. She could laugh at the days to come because she was at peace through her preparedness.

The Proverbs 31 woman used to sound super-human to me, but the truth is, she was a pro at taking care of her future self. The idea of job loss, injury or crisis used to be so overwhelming to me that I didn’t even want to think about it, much less build up a savings account or a few extra freezer meals to prepare for it.

I’ve learned I only need to be concerned about things I can control. When I cannot control circumstances, I can be at rest because I am loved by the One who is in control. The combination of wisdom (knowing what to do and doing it) and faith (knowing what I can’t do and trusting God with it) produces a peace the world cannot supply.

Friend, do not be overwhelmed by all you need to do. When you ready your heart and your mind for the days to come, you can be at peace. And you can share that peace with others in your life.

Heavenly Father, please show me how to faithfully be prepared so I can not only be at peace myself, but also meet the needs of those around me. I want to be a powerful force of gentle peace in a world that needs You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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