“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” (Proverbs 31:16).
To be honest with you (and what profit would there be to be otherwise?), I don’t think I have it in me tonight to write much of anything, especially worthy words pertaining to the P31 woman. Today has not been filled with many self-titled shining moments. Today has been a “get through” kind of day. You know the type … when just “getting through” feels like a huge accomplishment all on its own.
I’m almost there … almost through and ready to put the punctuation on this day of frolicking chaos. But before saying goodnight, I wanted to take a moment and give our “mighty woman” a final look to see if she might have anything to say to me before sleep has her say over me. And without warning, wouldn’t you know it … she does—have something to say.
Thus, taking her cue, I’m going to follow in her footsteps and try to implement one of her defining characteristics. I’m going to consider this field. I’m going to take possession of it, and out of the overflow of my heart, I’m going to plant a vineyard. Hold on; I think the planting (via a word study) to be worthy of the fruit in the end.
Consider. The Hebrew word zamam meaning “… to consider, to purpose, to devise. This verb derives its meaning from the idea of talking to oneself in a low voice, as if arriving at some conclusion. It denotes the action of fixing thought on an object so as to acquire it.”[i]
Field. The Hebrew word saday meaning “ … a field, oftentimes defined more descriptively as an open field. The noun is used to describe pastureland in which flocks of sheep were fed. The word is also used to describe a field or a plot of land that was normally unfrequented and in which one could meditate without being disturbed.”[ii]
Earnings. The Hebrew word periy meaning “fruit, produce.”[iii]
Buys. The Hebrew word laqach meaning “to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring.”[iv]
Plants. The Hebrew word nata meaning “to plant, fasten, fix, to establish.”[v]
Vineyard. The Hebrew word kerem meaning “…a vineyard, an area where grapevines and their fruits are grown and cultivated intensely.”[vi]
A mighty woman, a woman worthy of a ruby’s bestowing, is a woman who houses an unseen hope and a “yet to be realized” possibility in her heart. She doesn’t just let an open field pass her by. Instead, she considers it. Talks to herself about it; fixes her thoughts on it, until she can almost taste the fruit of its vines as it passes from her lips into her soul, filling her needful longing.
Out of the overflow of that longing, she moves heaven and earth to lay hold of it and to subsequently fasten her dreams within its soil in order to cultivate its promise with all the intensity and expectancy of a pregnant woman waiting for the fruition of a nine-month laboring.
A mighty woman sees the end, even before its beginning. She cannot accurately determine the unseen bounty of the harvest, but she senses that it’s going to be good. That it’s going to be more than it was at the outset, and, most importantly, that it was hers to seed and to grow regardless of the yield.
Each and every day, friends, God presents us with an array of open fields. Untouched and undisturbed pastureland is waiting to be tilled by the possibilities and visions that we hold dear within our hearts. Your field may present itself differently than mine. God tailor paints a blank canvas according to individual preferences, needs, and giftedness. The field which you consider purposeful and ripe for the planting is meant to stir your obedience toward the relentless pursuit of purchasing, planting, and cultivating it through deliberate intention.
We cannot all harvest the same pastureland. What benefit is there in following behind and stepping over one another’s work when there is still so much open ground available for the taking? Today, perhaps even in this moment, God is presenting your heart with an unfrequented parcel of land in need of your attention. The desire to fasten yourself to its cultivating pulses within your veins until you can almost taste the fruit of your hard laboring.
What are you waiting for? What keeps you from taking that ground and walking its breadth and tilling its soil and cultivating its growth? Are you scared? Are you tired? Are you complacent? Are you lazy? Are you afraid that when you arrive on the other side of harvest time it won’t look like much … won’t harvest as amply as you intended on the front side of a dream?
I suppose you could choose to do nothing–to keep your earnings to yourself and to hold out for a time that seems to house more promise as to the outcome. But whoever sows sparingly, reaps the same (2 Corinthian 9:6), and sameness is not what God is after in the life of his children. He created us for his kingdom and for the pilgrimage of a great and consecrated commission that leads others to walk the same.
Thus, consider the field before you this day. For me, it’s been this empty computer screen, awaiting my words and hoping for an end product that yields something more than what it was at the beginning—a blank page. What it was an hour ago, was less than what it is now. What it’s worth? Well, I don’t hold that determination. God does, and in some smaller measure, you do as well.
This is my heart’s offering to you. I considered its availability. Out of the overflow of my heart, I took hold of it, fastened my intention toward its cultivation, and now I leave it in your lap for your contemplation. I pray it fruitful toward God’s higher purposes, including the purpose that he intends for you to walk this week. Thus, I pray…
Thank you, Father, for a night’s prodding that leads me to consider your timeless teachings and effectual words. Your Word is true and is everything that I need to live a godly and consecrated life. Give me the willing heart to receive your invitation to open fields this week. Give me discernment to know which ones you intend for my hands and which ones are better left to someone else’s. Sustain my heart for the harvest, even when the outcome seems unlikely and “less” than what I envisioned. Keep me faithful to the cultivation Lord; keep me faithful through to the end. Let the sowing of your grace within my heart be the storehouse from which I sow my offering for your kingdom come. Amen.
[i] Baker & Carpenter, entry for “zaman,” The Complete Word Study Dictionary OT (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003), 294.
[ii] Baker & Carpenter, entry for “saday,” The Complete Word Study Dictionary OT (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003), 1104-1105.
[vi] Baker & Carpenter, entry for “kerem,” The Complete Word Study Dictionary OT (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003), 3754-3755.
Copyright © May 2009 – Elaine Olsen
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