“The Bible says when we face difficult times and we don’t really know the way forward, the best thing you can do is just stand,” said Darin Kassebaum, co-owner of Cosmos Corporation.
Since the St. Louis, Missouri company started in 1980, Cosmos has faced countless challenges. The producer of natural health, wellness, and care products has faced near bankruptcy and personal tragedy. Darin, his father, and his three brothers who own the company, have leaned on truth from the Bible and faith in Christ to endure.
“In those moments I recite, I confess scripture,” said Darin. “And I believe that in doing those things and recalling to my mind the promises God has made, it bolsters courage in my soul. And it enables me to stand.”
If you’re a faith driven entrepreneur, you’ve no doubt faced obstacles, too. We sometimes turn to scriptures like Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV), where the author says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
That’s a lot easier said than done, however. How do we not lean on our own understanding? It’s all we know in any given situation, even if we are prayerful and diligent.
Supplier Shutdown Leads to Prayer and Petition for the Cosmos Corporation
In the late 1980s, Cosmos Corporation’s lone shampoo supplier shut down abruptly. In the blink of an eye, Cosmos had hundreds of customer orders with no one to fill them.
“We were in trouble instantly,” said Don Kassebaum, Jr.
The brothers specifically remember Don Sr. praying, “Lord, we commit this decision to you. If you want us to have this, make it happen. If you don’t, shut the door.”
When we offer up a situation for God to direct, we often want Him to come through and save the day. At least in the way we imagine it. We often imagine ourselves standing in front of two doors saying, “God, here is Door #1, and here is Door #2. Door #1 leads to a positive outcome. Door #2 would be less appreciated. I’d be very glad if you chose Door #1.”
In this case, the family tried to purchase the shampoo supplier. That was Door #1. They offered $180K to buy the business. The owner came back and asked for $200K. They couldn’t afford the counteroffer, which meant the situation was quickly leading to a disappointing answer to prayer.
“So it was clearly shutting the door,” said Darin. “And in those moments you just stand. If you go out of business, you go out of business standing. But I have found dozens of times God opens Door #4 in that moment.”
A few days later, a woman who had been working for the supplier approached the Kassebaums and said she could help them make shampoo.
“Okay, here’s an open door,” Darin recalled thinking. “Let’s go through this. I’m not certain it’s the right one, but it’s the only door that the Lord hasn’t shut. Let’s go that way. Many times it’s led to an open field of opportunity.”
The supplier agreed to sell some production equipment, and the woman taught the family everything they needed to know. The total cost came out to $1800.
All of a sudden Cosmos was making shampoo and fulfilling their own orders. It was an unforeseen, pivotal moment that set Cosmos up for breakthroughs in natural shampoo production.
A Story of Hope for Entrepreneurs Waiting for God to Open or Close a Door
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) says “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”
If you’re like me, you want it to be a floodlight showing everything ahead and around the corner. But that’s not how God works. Not every entrepreneur will receive a resolution like the Cosmos Corporation experienced. In fact, many entrepreneurs will have to close down a business and pick up the pieces. Even when God ultimately moves, it may come after years of prayer, tears, and questioning.
By surrendering control and trusting in Him, regardless of the outcome, we grow in intimacy with Christ. And that is the fulfillment our hearts ultimately desire.