Friday, June 30, 2023

Messy or Blessing?

As we are approaching the book of Proverbs in our Woman to Woman Bible reading plan, I want to share my favorite verse from Proverbs. Proverbs is full of wit and irony. It’s a fun read! What’s your favorite Proverb? Here’s mine:
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
Proverbs 14:4 ESV
This Proverb explains that a clean manger looks nice and requires little effort, but the mess and hard work that come with owning oxen means that you’ve got what it takes to gather in a bountiful harvest. Plentiful crops are far better than a clean barn!

So, what is it about oxen, a manger, and crops that appeals to me? No, I don’t have a homestead. But this verse still applies to my life!
When my house is a wreck, dishes piled high in the sink, mountains of laundry waiting, toys disassembled and scattered on the floor, a to-do list a mile-long, and loud children playing… I remind myself of this Proverb.
The mess and effort suddenly seem worth it! I have a home to take care of! I have food to eat, clothes to wear. I have a family and all the joy that comes with our love for each other! And even though I’m in a messy season, there is a harvest coming, an abundant harvest! Taking care of my home and discipling my children for Jesus is an investment that will yield great return, both in this life and in the one to come.
How could I trade any of the mess and struggle for perfect order or control? The mess is actually a signs of the blessing unfolding!
Maybe you aren’t a homemaker or mother, or maybe you’re in a season of life where child rearing responsibilities are in the rear-view mirror. But this Proverb can apply to other responsibilities we undertake. Perhaps you are caring for a loved one, or maybe you serve in a demanding ministry role, or you have a job that takes a lot out of you. Could it be that the messiness and hard work you face are temporary symptoms of a blessing in your life?
So, when things feel challenging for me, and my job as a wife and mother feels overwhelming, I use the wit and wisdom of Proverbs to remind me…
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
Proverbs 14:4 ESV
What’s your favorite verse from Proverbs and why?
How does this Proverb encourage you?

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