The sun is burning the skin on my right shoulder. I feel it; I know I should adjust my seat slightly to the left. Yet, there is a knowing that any alteration to this moment would bring its premature end. Some moments are worth a temporary discomfort. I am in the middle of one of those times, thankful for the knowing of its treasure.
My twenty-five-year-old daughter laughs her full-on laugh as we share this time over lunch and a cold iced tea. The sun surprised us with a visit after leaving us longing for warmth almost a week ago. The rays feel good, feel hot and I remember my shoulder. The thought of moving my chair crosses my mind, but I sit still.
As she laughs I see her as a five-year-old. It’s a mom super power. Moms can seamlessly overlay a memory captured two decades previously to any current situation. As we talk, I wonder where that little girl went and where this beautiful woman came from.
When she was five, I imagined the woman she would become. For an instant, a surreal time traveling feeling washes over me and I am unsure if this present moment is my reality. It came too quickly and deep down I am still the mother of small children. But the sun that burns my shoulder also tethers me to the now. And I put aside this mental and emotional detour and get back to our conversation, back to the memories unfolding over lunch.
Maybe it was my daughter’s laugh, but throughout the rest of the day a verse I know from Proverbs 31 repeats in my head. I sense God has something more for me to hear.
The emphasis on laughs is mine because it is the word that joined the beauty of my day to the truth God was sharing. It’s a word I knew I must explore.
In the Hebrew, words carry meanings that are difficult for our language to fully impart. The Hebrew word “sachaq” is laugh, but it can imply both joy and contempt. It can also communicate that the one laughing has no fear.
In Habakkuk 1:10, “sachaq” is used to describe the “dreaded and fearsome” Chaldean army as they laughed at kings and rulers, as they laughed at anything that stood in their way. They were without fear, confident of their victory.
My mind now held two contrasting pictures. One of a strong, dignified woman and the other of vicious warriors. I prayed for understanding.
The warriors were an unstoppable force because they lacked fear and just moved ahead into victory. The reality of battle was before them; the reality of victory sure. They laughed.
The woman looked to the future not knowing what battle it may hold, but knowing her victory was settled. She laughed unafraid.
Her confidence came from her strength and honor. It was her garment, the clothing that covered her frame. It came from God and in it she could laugh the confident laugh of a mighty warrior.
I thought, what an amazing woman, what an amazing God.
He loves us so much that he equips us, truly dressing us, in strength and dignity. We are gifted such a secure position of confidence that we can look at the future, whatever it may hold, and laugh because we have no fear of it. We can laugh the laugh of mighty warriors.
Once again, I could hear my daughter’s laughter. My heart was filled with gratitude that she is also one clothed with strength and she laughs.
The last twenty years held battles and victories; the next twenty hold the same. But a woman who fears the Lord wears strength, wears dignity and she laughs. He clothes us in those same beautiful garments and we can laugh too, unhindered by fear.
It's a simple verse really. But it holds profound imagery. Take that picture in and own it. Realize the garments he has placed on you and laugh, unafraid. In Him our future is secure and it feels so good to laugh.