Yesterday morning I was reading the end of Proverbs, and this verse stuck with me all day:
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
I feel like I spend more time stressing over “the time to come” or rather stoically ‘contenting myself’ with “the time to come” than I do laughing at it. But this verse reminded me that even contentedness without complete trust and even joy and laughter in the face of the unknown isn’t what I should be after. How much more fun (and how much better of a testimony!) would I have in life if it was able to take a light-hearted view of the future and genuinely prepare for it with joy, hope, “strength and dignity”?
Speaking of preparation, that really does seem to be a sort of prerequisite for laughing at the time to come. The wife of Proverbs 31 spends a huge percentage of her time and energy just preparing for the future: She “seeks wool and flax” (verse 13), “brings her food from afar” (14), gets up early (15), considers purchases (16), strengthens her body (17), works late (18), prepares clothes for cold weather (21), and in general refuses to give into idleness (27).
It seems like we probably don’t have the right to laugh at the future unless, like this woman, we are actively preparing for it, equipping ourselves and our households. But if we *are* being faithful in our tasks, joy and fun should follow! This woman “fears the Lord” (30), and that kind of fear casts out other fears, even those regarding the time to come. Because the Lord is our God, we can pursue the future with laughter on our tongues and in our eyes.