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A Mountain of Virtue

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a larger-than-life challenge before you? Well, I experienced such a moment as our tour bus drove to base of the massive natural fortress called Masada in Israel. Jutting straight up from the shore of the Dead Sea, fortifica­tions were built by the Jews, right on top, some 1300 feet above us.

I felt as if I were standing at the base of Mount Everest! “What am I doing here?” I wondered. “How did this happen? I just came to the Holy Land to study the Bible! I never bargained for this!” But now I was expected to climb up this steep mountain bolstered only with promises of beautiful views!

And, friend, I want to quickly admit that I have all these same fearful and overwhelming feelings as you and I continue to look at the Proverbs 31 woman. Like Masada, she certainly appears to be larger than life, so far away, so superior, and so impossible.

So, let me finish my story about Masada. I went straight to the footpath—and I climbed Masada!

Climbing this great mountain wasn’t easy, and I stopped for many rests—many, many rests! My lungs hurt, and my legs hurt. People passed me by as I struggled. But I made it!

By tapping into the deepest resources of both my mental and physical strength and by continuing one step after one step after one step—I had done what had seemed impossible—and that accomplishment was glorious! The view below, the spectacular sky, and the light glowing off every surface felt heavenly.

Now, dear fellow traveler in life, you and I face the rather daunting challenge to follow God’s example of the Proverbs 31 woman.  Perhaps just as I struggled with a lack of desire to climb a mountain, you’ve struggled to even want to be like her.  Maybe you’ve counted the cost of such an endeavor, sensing that it will require much from you. Maybe you feel that others are passing you by with no struggle.

Well, just as I found with the “impossible” climb to the top of Masada, victory comes step by step. With God’s help, this week’s devotionals will help you to see the woman of Proverbs 31 (and yourself) in a new light. Here are some initial steps to journeying toward reflecting the light of a virtuous woman:

Cultivate the desire – ask yourself what you wish to be known for at the end of your life. And ask God to fill you with the desire to be beautiful in His eyes.

Give it time today – Nothing grand happens all at once. Remember, step by step you can grow closer to God’s desire for you. Read some of God’s Word everyday and set up a plan for regularly memorizing Scripture.

Give it time for a lifetime – You and I don’t ever need to be dis­couraged or feel overwhelmed by God’s standard for virtue because He gives us, day by day, a lifetime to reach it. Certainly qualities written about the woman in Proverbs 31 did not happen in one year, but in seasons over the span of her lifetime.

A Prayer to Pray: “Lord, keep me from scorning the height of Your standard, from discounting this woman’s superior beauty, from downplaying her virtues, or for writing her off as old-fashioned or impossible. May Your desire for me be my desire for myself!”

You will find more insights into your life as a woman after God’s own heart by studying the faithful Proverbs 31 woman in my book, Beautiful in God’s Eyes.

Read A Mountain of Virtue on Elizabeth & Jim George.

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