Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Can We Have It All?
Have you ever been told that you can’t have it all? Thereby implying that you have to settle for greatness in only one area of your life. You can either have the perfect ministry, the perfect marriage, the perfect career, the perfect friendships, the perfect whatever, but you can’t be great at everything. I hate that!
I’ve been wrestling with this concept for years. You see, I want so much out of life on this earth: Godly marriage, obedient children, cherished friendships, inspiring writing career. I want it all. The clean home, healthy meals, homemade bread, a daily (enjoyable!) workout routine, a balanced budget, a mowed, weed-free lawn, a green thumb, a brilliant mind and I want to look cute and fashionable while I’m at it. Is that too much to ask for?
Why can’t we, as women fully empowered by God’s spirit, have it all?
I believe we can.
Have you ever heard of the Proverbs 31 woman? For the longest time I hated this poor lady because she showed me exactly where I was lacking. Where I didn’t measure up. But, I’ve come to view this passage as something else.
Proverbs 31 shows us that it’s possible. It’s possible to have it all and do it all well.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
So the next time someone tells you (or you hear that little voice in your head, like I often do) that you can’t have it all, remember this woman. She had it all…because God equipped her to handle it all.
One last thing.
Have you ever noticed that this lady doesn’t have a name? I mean come on! There are far less interesting and pivotal characters in the Bible that have names…hard names, with twelve letters, that no one can pronounce. But this lady, who is the very essence of who we need to be, doesn’t? What gives?
I was thinking about this the other night and the thought occurred to me that maybe she doesn’t have a name on purpose. Maybe if she had a name, we would lump her successes solely to her. Does that make sense? Sort of like we do for Noah. He was so faithful, he built an ark! Or David. He was so courageous, he brought down a giant. Or Daniel. He was so steadfast, he survived a den of lions. We associate those things with the specific people that accomplished them.
But what if she’s nameless because she’s…us. No comparison. No name to give the credit to. Just a woman, who pleased God.
We can each be this godly woman. Just plug in your name and allow God to equip you to have it all.
What about you? Do you believe we can be great in many areas of our lives or do you think that perfection in a specific area comes from undivided focus on that one thing? Do you ever struggle with wanting to be great at many different things?