Welcome to the Proverbs 31 Devotion friends. I’m glad you’re here. The verses you’re looking for are below.
In today’s devotion, I asked, “Is there something you’ve been avoiding because you’re afraid?” And my answer is yes. I have a friend going through a divorce and it’s hard to know how to help – what to say – what not to say.
It’s just hard. So, I’ve been avoiding reaching out for fear of saying the wrong thing.
Until last week when a moving truck pulled up to the front of my friend’s house. Sometimes moving signifies something exciting and new. Sometimes it doesn’t.
This move signified an end. A few hours into the process of emptying her home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait, and called to her, “You want the photographs in the stairwell to go with us, or are you taking those separately in your vehicle?”
“I’ll be taking those separately,” she said the irony not escaping her. Separately. That was how she’d be living her life now. Separate from the neighborhood where her kids had grown up. Separate from her husband. Separate from the way she thought her life would be.
She took the wedding portrait from the mover as a feeling of confusion washed over her. She sat down on the front steps and called me. Through her tears she said, “I don’t know what to do with this portrait. What do you do with the things that have no place anymore? We built a life together and now there’s no more together. There isn’t a place for that in my mind. What am I going to do?”
As soon as I heard her shaky voice, I felt so awful for not calling.
And though I still didn’t know exactly what to say, I knew this was my time to say something – do something.
I knew better than throw out a quippy little bit of Christianese. I once had someone tell me as I stood over my dying sisters bedside, “You just have to let go and let God.” I knew they meant well.
But honestly it infuriated me.
No, I wouldn’t throw out something just to fill the uncomfortable silence. Trite sayings weren’t going to help my friend. Well meaning phrases weren’t going to crawl up in bed with her tonight and hold her broken heart threatening to beat out of her chest.
That would be like holding out scotch tape and suggesting it could fix a broken life.
I finally said to my friend, “I’m crying with you. I don’t have answers, but I do have prayers. And I’m going to write out conversations I have with God so you’ll know He’s not being silent right now. He sees you. He hears you. And through His truth He will comfort you.”
I pulled out my Bible and poured out the hurt and sadness. “God show me. Show me the right truths. Use my hand to write out some comfort from Your Word for my friend. She’s afraid and needs Your comfort more than ever.”
Me: Lord, I have to tell You it is a hard thing to watch my friend hurt so much. She begged You to help save her marriage and honestly we’re confused why it all still fell apart.
The Lord: Do the words of Job 17:11 express the way you are feeling? My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.
Me: Yes, Lord, and I’m confused. Lord don’t You see her tears? If seeing her sadness breaks my heart, I know it must break Your heart too. It is hard for me to understand why this all happened.
The Lord: Recall the beauty of trusting the only One who can see what is and what is to come. Remember my words in Nahum 1:7…The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.
Me: I do trust You Lord. But for everything to end like this is so hard. It just seems so pointless.
The Lord: Oh, nothing I allow is pointless. Nothing you go through is pointless. Even in the midst of hurt I will work good. I will work good for her now and I will work good for her in the future. I still have a grand plan and purpose for her. Proverbs 19:20-21…Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Me: I just need to know why she has to go through this.
The Lord: You don’t have to have answers Lysa. You just need to trust. Isaiah 55:8-9…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Me: But what about the desires of her heart Lord?
The Lord: I am the only one who even knows the full scope of those desires Lysa. I will give her new desires and help her so those desires come to pass. Just encourage her to trust me and make wise choices. Psalm 37:3-4…Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
After I wrote all this out, I sent it to my friend. My letter didn’t fix her hurt or answer her questions. It didn’t give her a place to put those things that seemed to have no place right now. But it did get her to open up God’s word and start having conversations with Him for herself. And as she moves on, this was a good first step to take.
No matter what you’ve been avoiding out of fear, determine to take one positive step today. Here are a few empowering verses to use when fear is holding you back:
1. Psalm 27:1-2
The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?
2. Isaiah 41:10:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.
3. Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
4. 2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.
5. Hebrews 13:6
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
6. Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.