“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Proverbs 31:17
What does it mean to gird your loins? In the time this passage was written, people wore long robes and tunics. When they were at work in a field, they would gather the excess fabric up and tie it under or around them in such a way that allowed them to work freely. Any loose fabric could slow them down or could offer a risk of tripping over. It is just a practical thing to do.
This Virtuous woman has just carefully considered a property, purchased it, and decided to plant a vineyard. Now that she is at the task of planting, she needs to dress for the occasion. Not in finery, nor long gowns, she must ready herself for the labor ahead.
As for me, if I am ready for a big, messy job, I tie on my apron!
Girding her loins with strength.
She is showing her enthusiasm to every good work. Her head is held high with a strong resolve to finish the project she has started. She is not murmuring or showing signs of defeat. Her arms are strong. In contrast, so many of us look to the work ahead and we hang out heads low. We sigh and groan because we see this grand mountain standing in front of us.
There was a time when my body was so weak and so full of pain that I could almost do nothing. I had took 38 pain pills each day and that barely cut the intense nerve pain. My foot felt like it was in burning hot oil all day and all night so that I could not even sleep because of it. And this persisted for 9 months. I felt so useless just laying there. Not knowing that I would ever be productive again, I had to find things I could do. I set out to do a few small tasks to make myself feel like I have accomplished something each day.
Most days, I felt like it was a mountain of work just to hobble around my bed to pull the covers up. It was a major accomplishment for me to make my bed and set the pillows up straight. It took me 30 minutes of all of my strength and endurance to make that bed-blood, sweat, and tears. After making the bed, I would wheel myself into the living room where I would find a chair to sit in. Just getting out of bed made me feel good. What I wanted more than anything was to have the strength and freedom to get up and sweep or wash a sink load of dishes, but I could not even do that. I wanted to serve my family. I wanted to play with my small children. It took a huge measure of strength to gird my loins and set out to make my bed. I know it sounds pathetic that I thought making my bed was such a huge accomplishment, but I tell you, it was one of the things that kept me going. Just that little thing made a world of difference to me when I could do nothing but lay there in agony.
There are many of you that feel overwhelmed because you see your mountain sitting there in front of you. Get up and gird your loins today! One little task gives a lot of encouragement to do more little tasks. It is a blessing when you have strength and you are able to do things that other people can not do because they are sick or in pain. Even now, I struggle to do work because my foot will never work as a normal foot. Things are harder for me than for most other people, yet I just try to remember the time when I could only make my bed in a day. Those days will never be forgotten. I have courage to overcome because I know how much pain I used to have and how thankful I am that God has given me my second wind. I have strength to do so much more than I thought I would ever be able to do lying in that bed for so long.
I look at the hours differently now because of my accident and what I went through. I see time as such a precious gift. I used to scream in agony and pray that God would get me by another minute. Now, I see each minute as a gift to me. No longer am I in agony. God is giving me time to do things. I can gird up my loins each day and I can accomplish many things in that time I have been given. So can all of you. You have the same measure of time as I do.
The Moral of the Story…
Do what you can, to the best of your ability–with a smile on your face! 🙂
A lot can be accomplished when we put a value on that time we have been given. If we appreciate time and the ability to do things we have strength to accomplish them. It is all in our attitude. And it is all a matter of perspective. When we understand that all it takes is a cheerful and thankful spirit, we can go forth with strength and purpose. We can have Virtuous Strength.