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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will direct your path. – Proverbs 3:5-6
It was March 15, 1983. I had finished my Bible reading and prayer time, and was ready to walk out on our side porch to stretch before going on my morning run. God clearly spoke to me, asking, “Kibbey, do you believe in My Word, or in your 4 data points?” I said, “I know my 4 data points are true, but if they are contrary to Your Word, then I’m looking at them wrong.”
My 4 data points were the deaths of 3 of my children, in 1978, ‘79, and ‘81, and my business in crisis, amid losing half our monthly billing in a year’s time. These caused a struggle in my relationship with God.
I returned from my run and opened my Bible as I sat on the side porch. I turned to Proverbs 3:5-6, because it was the first passage I thought of when I considered trusting in God. I started cross-referencing the word trust and looked up its definition. It said, trust meant to have faith in, to rely on, and to take refuge in.
I had 5 managers at the time. I had faith in them and relied on them to carry out the work for which they were responsible, but I would not say that I took refuge in them. To a limited extent, I could say that I took refuge in my wife, but this was a new concept to me! I began to look up verses which portrayed this concept. David used it frequently in Psalms.
Psalms 18:30 - As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5 - Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
It reminded me of Exodus 33:22 and 34:6-7 where God put Moses in the cleft of the rock and put His hand over it as He walked by, declaring His character of compassion and grace, long-suffering and love, faithfulness, forbearance, and justice.
He does the same for us today when we take refuge in God. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. These are all available to us as we allow God’s Word to be manifested in our lives.
I realized then that my 4 data points had caused me to lean on my own understanding instead of fully trusting the Lord and His Word. I began to acknowledge Him in all my ways which I see as the most worshipful verse in the Bible, and to trust Him in directing my steps as I put one foot in front of the other.
Another way of taking refuge in Him is expressed by Jesus in Matt 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Think and pray
What are your pain points in life? Are you leaning on your own understanding or are you taking refuge in God?
Heavenly Father, help me to acknowledge You in all my ways and to trust You with everything that I have. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Eldon Kibbey has served as the Director of CBMC Indiana since 1998. His earlier career included a tour of duty with the US Air Force, a brief career in the aerospace industry with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, and then 26 years at the helm of a national janitorial service. Eldon and his wife, Sandy, are the parents of four children, and have three grandsons.