‘She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands’. The part I want to focus on is she ‘willingly works with her hands’. She is willing. This word is also translated as ‘with delight’. She is delighted to work with her hands for her family. Knowing that she is making her family’s life better by the work she does gives her delight. It brings a different meaning in our language today when you put the word ‘delight’ in there instead of ‘willing’. We can begrudgingly cook dinner for our families, resentfully work a job to help with family finances, or spitefully do whatever it is that needs to be done. We can be willing to do it and not delight in it at all however, look at what we could be stealing from ourselves if we have the attitude of ‘fine, I’ll do it’ rather than ‘I’d be delighted to do it’. We steal our own delight!
There have been many Monday mornings that I have looked and felt just like this. I did not want to go to work… AGAIN. I sneered at the world while I got myself and my daughter ready for the day. Those mornings have been ugly; full of tears, raised voices and a mad dash to get out the door. You can imagine those days at work didn’t end up too swell either. Employees getting on my last nerve, customers that made me want to wring their necks, calls and emails that all the coffee in the world could not make me ready for. At the end of the day I’d ask myself ‘How did this happen after such an enjoyable weekend with my family?!’ Well I can look back and tell you… I happened! My own selfishness stole any delight I could have had that day. It happens all too often in not just my life but in the world.
This week is all about feeling delight or joy while we do the work set before us. What I have found is that having delight in something is a CHOICE. It is your choice to wake up and delight in knowing that you have work to do for God. You have been entrusted with tasks that God, himself, has set before you. I have used this verse before but it is a good one, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Eph 2:10 It is our choice to follow in the path that He has set for us and to do it joyfully. I am reminded of Sue Heck from the show ‘The Middle’. She has the most unfortunate things happen to her however, she is the only one in the show that remains joyful in all she does. She chooses to remain positive in all of her endeavors. She is able to find delight in all she does!
There are so many missionaries we can look at in the Bible that chose to have delight in their work. The circumstances they were under when they went out and preached God’s word were not pleasant by any means however, they were willing to do it. One of the biggest examples we can look to is Paul. He sat in prison writing to the Philippians and encouraging them. In the first chapter, Paul talks about the Gospel that is being spread due to him being in chains. He was put in prison for following Christ and preaching the Word. Instead of the being discouraged, dismayed, or distressed, Paul felt delight in knowing that his situation of being in prison was advancing the Gospel. Philippians 1:18 he says ‘But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,‘. Paul’s delight came in knowing that God’s message to the lost was being spread. What would happen if we took that same delight in the work we do for our family? If we took delight in knowing that through the outpouring of love through the work we did, Christ was seen and our children, family, and friends saw this delight and came to know Christ through it?
We could always take the route we see Eeyore take in Winnie the Pooh. The ‘woe is me’ road. But rather than choosing to get down, we can chose delight. We can chose to be encouraging and to continue in our work the Lord has set before us. That is the choice we wake up to each and every day. We can choose to seek the negative in our lives and focus on all the dark in the world and remain stagnant in our faith or we can chose to be the Sue. We can chose to be the Eeyore or we can chose to be the Paul. God gave us a choice in all we do. My challenge to you (and myself) is to wake up every morning and choose to take delight in what He has laid out for you. Take delight in knowing that He placed your family, your friends in your presence to be a beacon of joy that draws her strength and light from the Creator Himself. Make Christ known through the attitude you display.