By Jesse Z. King
What is dependability? To say one is dependable is to say that they are worthy of trust and have repeatedly proven themselves worthy of that trust. Dependability is a concept I have a deep love/hate relationship with. On one hand I have friends and family members that I depend on, while on the other hand I want to be self-reliant and independent.
Recently I’ve been reading through the book of Proverbs and the following verse caught my eye as I was doing my devos. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) states:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
In the Hebrew manuscripts, the original word for “trust” is “bā·ṭāḥ”, which translates to “having confidence in” or “being secure in”. As Christians, we are instructed to trust in the Lord with all our hearts; not some, not most, but truly all of it and to know that we are secure in God’s promises. As I have been growing in my faith I’ve been trying to reconcile the “independent” aspect of my personality with the truth that I should place my hopes in the Lord.
Proverbs 14:2 (NIV) states:
“There is a way that appears to be right, but it ends in death”
It can be difficult to place our trust in God, especially when we want to do things our own way. When I started university I decided I was uninterested in God, the church and anything else that had to do with faith. I made an effort to avoid going to church, I partied and drank extensively and continued to attempt to keep up with my gruelling schedule. I understood that none of it brought me any lasting joy, but I was determined to distance myself as far from God as I possibly could.
As a friend described it: “It was really weird from the outside to see you repeat the same actions every weekend expecting a different result.” Finally, the lifestyle I was living caught up with me and I found myself being rushed to the emergency room in the dead of night. I can only say that it was one of the most terrifying, least joyful experiences of my entire life. I learned how foolish it is to solely place one’s trust in oneself.
Ultimately being able to depend on God comes down to a question of his character and if we truly believe he will do what he says he will do. We see an example of God’s character in the story of Abraham, chronicled in the book of Genesis. God promises Abraham an heir in the form of a son, as well as countless descendants. However, neither Abraham nor Sarah believe that it is possible for Sarah to give birth in her old age.
Genesis 17:17 (NIV) states:
“Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”
Genesis 18:11-12 (NIV) states:
“Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
Abraham decided to try and fulfill God’s promise himself. He gets his wife’s servant, Hagar, pregnant and she bears him a son, named Ishmael. However, God reminds Abraham of his promise to him and confirms that Hagar’s son, Ishmael, is not the confirmation of his covenant. In fact, later in Genesis, Hagar and Ishmael are exiled from Abraham’s camp leaving him heir-less once again. We later see God’s promise fulfilled as Sarah does give birth to a son and he is named Isaac. Furthermore, Isaac has a son named Jacob, who is widely regarded as the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. It is from these tribes that the Jewish people, descendants of Abraham, find their origin.
We do not serve a God that makes promises he does not intend to keep. We can trust every promise he has in Scriptures because he is unchangeable in his promises and his plans to us. Indeed Hebrews 13:8 states that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.” I encourage you brothers to place your trust in the Lord, rather than in yourselves and see how he makes your pathways straight. I know you will be amazed at how he proves himself worthy of your trust again and again.