[23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.]
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.
There is more to success than obtaining wealth, which without diligence can quickly slip away. Here we are given a picture of the rhythms of productivity, which each of us has the dignity of participating in. First, make room for new growth. Let us not fixate on the past, whether plentiful or scarce, instead taking full advantage of the opportunities at hand. Last season’s hay must be removed and gathered, both to sustain the flocks and make way for new growth. It is up to us to plant, cultivate, and harvest, but it is God who makes things grow.
“The lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field.” Second, recognize the potential around you. It is easy to focus on what we do not have, but what good comes from that? Instead consider what you already have, which can be leveraged to meet your needs. One person sees only a lamb and a goat; another sees clothing and income, sustenance and security. Gratitude and diligence bring satisfaction, grumbling self-pity leads to misery.
“You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family and to nourish your female servants.” Third, do not worry about having enough. “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,” let us have faith in his provision. It is this faith that protects us from working too much, from joyless days and restless nights. Let your work be motivated by gratitude and not by worry, make the most of the season you’re in, and trust God with the rest. The more we rely on him, the more he proves himself faithful.