Dancing with Simplicity

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Prayer at Wits’ End

  • September 4, 2014 12:03 am

I ran across this in the August 28 reading from My Utmost for His Highest, Daily Devotionals by Oswald Chambers.

     Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything. “August 29.” My Utmost for His Highest. pag. 28 Aug. 2014. Web. <http://utmost.org>.

This has long been one of my favorite devotional books because it really makes me think. I can’t just read this and walk away. I have to ponder it awhile. Sometimes the readings zero right in on the issues I’ve been dealing with in recent days. Funny how an old book speaks to contemporary living.

August 2014 was a wits’ end month. First our business equipment died, a rather speedy costly death. Then we got a lovely notice concerning taxes. You can guess what it was. My insurance agent said it’s worse than having a root canal. Research shows that  less than 1% of businesses like ours even get them. Lovely. At the same time, I was diagnosed with something called Dupuytren’s Contracture. I had to go to an audio medical dictionary just to learn to pronounce it! I wish I didn’t have it. It isn’t something a writer wants to have since it can result in hand and finger deformities. Ouch.

Yes, it was a wits’ end month. I’m upset, I have no idea what to do and I’m very frustrated and extremely aggravated. That’s the best working definition I can find for my wits’ end situation. In my effort to live a simple life, trouble manages to find me.  I would like to simply be left alone.

I’m a far cry from being self-sufficient, so I ask. And I ask a whole lot. I’ve taught myself to remember that God doesn’t cause the problems. He allows them. And I ask Him for help. The devotional goes on to compare our asking to the way a child would ask. A child can be pretty brave in his asking. I’m asking with dependency on Him, presenting my problems to the reality of God Himself. Walking in faith, looking for the truth of His Word. I won’t say it’s easy. I get stressed, and I question myself and Him. I know I’m not alone in this.

What has you at your wits’ end? Are you at the end of your self-sufficiency? Do these words strike a chord with regard to your prayer life? Do you have a go-to devotional that speaks to you during the rough, frustrating times?

Is there prayer at your wits’ end?  Help us Lord, to look to you through prayer when we’re in the land of wits’ end living.