Posted by: Mad Lamb | 20/01/2017

In all your ways acknowledge him

For my last post I was going to start with a rant about others glibly quoting you Bible texts that seem such simple principles but don’t always help when life is not working out as we hoped. On review, I decided against it. I was just having a rant and the post stood without the references.

One of the text I had planned to quote is from Proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (English Standard Version)

I’ve had trouble with this verse for some time.

About four years ago, when I was travelling three hours per day to work, by bus and train, while coping with waiting for early treatment for my arthritis to fully kick in, I didn’t think things could get much worse. Then the rain came and blocked the train line, so I had to drive instead! Thankfully I found a car share, so only had to drive two days each week, and was allowed to work one day from home. However, the journey was now about four hours per day and I was still suffering severely from fatigue.

At that time, someone at our church in Bristol was using the above verses as their text over a few weeks and it just grated. How can I trust when everything was going so wrong?

Last week I discovered our church, here, has adopted it as our motto text for the year. Great, I thought, just what I needed – another lot of guilt about how horrible things are. I’m obviously not trusting in God correctly. So I mentally wrestled with God for a bit, moaning how unfair it was, then I decided to listen to the sermon.

‘Act on what what you believe’, they said. So I re-read the text, looking for something to hook into …

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart’ – I thought I was
‘Do not lean on your own understanding’ – I gave up my understanding of anything ages ago.
‘In all your ways acknowledge him’ … well, I had started a New Year resolution to be more thankful and to keep records of good things to reflect on later. Maybe this would be okay.

So I thought about it a bit, maybe even prayed for clarity, and then I was given a picture of our cat rubbing himself against our legs. It was his way of seeking acknowledgement, usually for feeding purposes, or to be picked up and cuddled. He also has a trait of standing at the top of the stairs just before we descend. If we don’t pat him on his head or tickle his chin as we pass, he gives us a swipe or a poke. ‘Come on’, he says, ‘acknowledge me. I’m important.’ However he does it, you just have to stop to spend some time with him and appreciate that we chose to include him as part of our lives.

I’m not convinced that God wants me to tickle his chin, but perhaps he does want me to spend more time with him and to acknowledge that we chose to offer ourselves to his service. Maybe during that time I’ll learn how to trust him more deeply with the unsettling situations I’m facing.

Our cat is also known to leap onto the pillow about 2-3 am, to ask for an early morning feed. That’s when I just pretend that I’m asleep and haven’t noticed. I’m sure God will get used to me doing that with him occasionally too.



  1. Such a great post – honest and challenging. As someone struggling with health issues and waiting (for a year) for an operation, I need to hear this. Xx

    • Glad it’s helpful. Will pray for your health issues.

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