Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Place Called Wit's End

My Pastor preached a sermon last summer titled:  A Place Called Wit's End

Have you ever been there?

Psalm 107:23-27 speaks of a group of mariners who have found themselves in the middle of the ocean in a dangerous storm. Their ship is being tossed to and fro, carried up and down and pounded by the waves brought on by fierce winds.  Their courage is failing and they have no way of being rescued.  It appears they have met their fate as their death seems imminent.  The storm is unrelenting, powerful and shows no mercy.  I can imagine the feeling in the pit of their stomach.  In fact, I know the feeling. 

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a storm....tossed around and bruised by circumstances and negative, discouraging news that offers no hope? Have you been in a place so dark that you felt there was no way out? 

Maybe you're there now.

God is not surprised or caught off guard by our troubles.  In fact, verse 25 says it is God who commanded the storm and the wind and the waves.  He allowed the sailors to come to the end of vs. 27 says...they were at their wit's end.  All their wisdom had come to nothing and there was no way they could help themselves or each other.  The possibility for human intervention and deliverance did not exist.

The options were: surrender the circumstances to God or succumb to the storm.

In their desperation, the sailors cried out to God and He rescued them. He calmed the storm and the waves stood still (vs. 28-29).

This storm is all too familiar to me. No ship, no waves, no ocean, but I have known the storm. Maybe you have too? 

Though the circumstances and details of our storms may vary, they are the same. Financial difficulties. Cancer. An unfaithful husband. Divorce. Children in rebellion. Death of loved one.

Why would God cause or allow this storm to manifest and threaten the very lives of these sailors? Why would God allow us to go through something that threatens to leave us with no hope?

There are times when we all feel the waves and the wind and the uncertainty.

But we also all have a God who is unrelenting in His love for us.

Our hope can remain secure.

Our faith in the God who never changes can keep us from going under.

And we can be certain that He will calm the storm.

Sometimes our greatest victory comes at the end of our greatest challenge. Sometimes when we come to the end of ourselves, we find more of God than we've ever known.

Times like these cause us to draw nearer to Him. And the Bible says when we draw near to God, He draws near to us. Times like these make us desperate for the only One who can truly save us.

When we come to end of ourselves, when we surrender wholly and completely, when we finally trust that His plan is greater even when we don't understand, we find peace in whatever storm is brewing.  And we realize a greater knowing that He is God and He. is. still. good.

"God is life, and love, and blessing, and power, and infinite beauty, and God delights to communicate Himself to every child who is prepared to receive Him; but ah! this one lack of absolute surrender is just the thing that hinders God" (Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender).

Surrender all.

Surrender those hard, sometimes painful, often-don't-understand-why, difficult circumstances to God.

Surrender wholly.

And watch God prepare you as a vessel, as an instrument of His glory to be poured out on the earth.

5 friends had this to say:

Kelli Williams Wommack said...

Love this! Beautifully written and very thought-provoking. When we come to our "wit's end" or the end of ourselves, that is when true healing and victory take place. Such a great reminder. Thanks, Shelley!

Shelly said...

Thank you, Kelli. And yes, you are so right...when we stop trying to fix everything then God is able to move on our behalf. :)

Susan Rush said...

I think you wrote this just for me. What a loving and awesome reminder that all we have to do is surrender.

Shelly said...

Thank you, Susan. I have to remind myself often. :)

Dorothy Adamek said...

I love the message of 'surrender.' Always needs to be meditated on, always needs to be our 'default.' So blessed with your encouragement, Shelly. Bless you :)