‘She rises also while it is yet night, and gives food to her household and work to her maids.’
My husband loves baseball (I use ‘love’ but it is something stronger he feels for baseball) and so I have had my fair share of arriving two hours before the game even begins to see the players warming up. The players tossing balls back and forth, jumping, batting, and stretching in preparation for the game to come. They show up well in advance to get their uniforms on, talk strategy, and mentally prepare. This is a good lesson for how we should approach each day. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 tells us:
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Just like the athletes of baseball, our verse for this week tells us we should arrive early to the game. In order to win our day we need to get up and prepare. We may not do some of ridiculous looking stretches I have seen these baseball players do, but we aren’t playing baseball. We are preparing for the day ahead of us. So how do we prepare for the day ahead of us like the athletes prepare for the competition in front of them?
First, get up early! The verse tells us ‘She rises also while it is yet night’. Before her kids are up and ready for you to spend every minute taking them here or there, making an endless supply of food, playing Little People, singing and dancing to the same song endlessly, etc. she is up and preparing for the day physically and spiritually. Before it is time to run off to work, take the kids to school, or whatever the day has in store, prepare spiritually by reading, studying, and praying. Make time at the start of your day to spend with God. What a better way to start your day then speaking with the one who holds your heart in His hands? Proverbs 3:6 (TLB) we are told:
6 In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
Getting up with enough time to have quiet, one-on-one time with God is key to our success in everything we do. Our preparation in this area will make us ready to feed our family spiritually.
Second, our verse tells us she rises while it is still night to give ‘food to her household’. The word ‘food’ in Hebrew is ‘te-rep’ which is also translated as ‘prey’. Elizabeth George brings up that this ‘prey’ is like that of a lion. When I looked this up, she is exactly right and the imagery here is pretty neat. In a pride of lions it is the lioness who does most of the hunting and this is done at night. The male lions stay and keep watch of the pride. They keep them safe while the lioness gathers from afar the food to feed her family. It is amazing how you can look at nature and see pieces of how God intended it all to work before sin entered the picture. Just like the lioness we should rise early to prepare food for our household. This can look a little different today as we don’t have to grind the grain to make bread. We have access to already made bread and other foods however, the concept of rising early to prepare for the day is still there. We can rise early to prepare lunches for work or school, prepare book bags or purses, and get ourselves dressed and lay out clothes for the littles in the house.
The third discipline Elizabeth George lays out is our To-Do list. The last part of our verse tells us she rises while it is still night to give ‘work to her maids’. I don’t know about you but I’m not part of the US that has maids so this list we create is gonna have to be my own list. So how can we apply this to ourselves? Well we can take care of ourselves by making our own to-do list. Make a plan for the day.
Proverbs 21:5 tells us:
The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
Luke 14:28 give advise as well on making plans:
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
And finally Proverbs 6:6-11 tells:
“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.”
We are told over and over again that making plans is how to succeed. It is how to be profitable and smart with what we have been blessed with. So when you rise up early, prepare for what you need to do that day for you and your family to succeed. First, start with time with God to make sure you are seeking the things God wants for you, then make your plan for the day.
How much easier will our days be if we get up a little early to start our days out the way God has laid them out? I don’t believe He put anything in the Bible as just a good suggestion but as a plan for success in our lives. He is the Creator of all and so taking advise from the one who put everything into motion can only mean success in this journey to become the rare jewel of Proverbs 31.