"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." Proverbs 31:17 (NIV)
This verse speaks directly about the virtuous woman being one who works hard and has built up muscles as she's worked; she is strong enough now to get the work done that she needs to each day.
This verse speaks to me in an emotional and spiritual sense as well. There are times when I get weary and I feel as if I can't "hold up" any longer. Take for instance the next several days I will be spending with one of my sisters. This sister is a year younger than me and you'd think that we'd be best of friends. We used to be when we were - say - five and six years old. Those days are long past.
Sometime during our teen years we became competitive. I'm not sure how it creeped into our little lives, but that spirit of "me first" got in the way of all that could be good in building a relationship. It's a spirit of contention that, no matter how hard we both try, hasn't completely gone away.
Now this sister is coming here tomorrow to spend several days. She says she wants to get to know the kids. That is well and good. I have a lot of "me" attitudes that need to change to "other" attitudes.
It's not easy when the "other" person is hard to live with. I'm not exaggerating on that either. So it's not completely "me" at all. Fifty percent of the problem lies with her. But God has given me strong arms for the task. Through the years I've built up a "thick skin" in regards to being put down for being....me.
With all of the other things on my mind, I don't need to worry about a measley four or five days with a difficult person. My arms are strong.