She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:16)
Do you tend to compare yourself to others, and find yourself wanting?
Here we go ago again, with Mrs. Super-Woman aka an Excellent Wife, with her next feat -- she buys land. This verse in particular I find especially intimidating, never having, in my 50-something years, ever purchasing land by myself. I won't even buy a car without someone knowledgeable looking at it with me first. Here she considers a field and then with her profits (where did that come from, didn't she just spend a ton of money on land??) she plants a vineyard.
I read this and say: Ok, game over, I fail. I don't want to play. Close the book.
But wait, I know God better than this. God may want to stretch our faith in Him but never to the breaking point. He is the God who brings us "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) He never intends to overextend us. That is not His way. When we feel overwhelmed, that is not of Him.
So I kept searching and found this translation of this same verse:
She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. (Amplified)
The Excellent Wife expands prudently, considering her present duties. She understands that we can expand imprudently and become crushed under the weight of too many things, even if they are good things.
I have been considering that. I cannot compare myself with other women who have homes that are better decorated, husbands who are more accomplished, children who are better behaved, and careers that are more exciting. Even as I do ministry, the Lord has given me more than a spiritual gift to share, He has defined a SCOPE that I have been created for. When my ambition and ego desire more than He knows to prudently give me, I find myself restless, anxious, disappointed.
I am sure as she prudently considers, the Excellent Wife prays and consults with her husband and wise friends. She does not expand just to expand. She does not buy just because it is available. She doesn't volunteer to change diapers in the nursery just because the Pastor says there is a need. She brings it to her Heavenly Father and asks: "Is this for me? Or is this a heavy burden from the enemy? Will this lead me to neglect my other responsibilities?"
Because our time and strength is limited. The Excellent Wife is prudent and so she has saved up strength and profit for other things (the vineyard).
I need to learn this. I need to rest in this.
Father, let me come to You with each opportunity, trusting You know me, You love me. You would deny me no good thing. But the enemy wants to overwork me, confuse me, lead me into chaos. Let this not be the field I purchase, just because I am comparing myself to others! It all comes back to trusting You!