At Wit’s End

God - wits end on cardI saw an online advertisement for a set of nicely-embossed cards, and the curved edging caught my attention.  Each cover read, God is everywhere, even at your wit’s end.

Pretty simple statement, clearly intended to bring a smile.

Even as I chuckled and moved on to another website, the statement hung in the back of my mind.  Then I found myself actually thinking about the statement…and I realized those eight words were actually somewhat profound.

Even at your wit’s end.   That’s often where we least expect to find God.

The online resource collinsdictionary.com states, “If you are at your wits’ end, you are emphasizing that you are so worried or exhausted by problems or difficulties that you do not know what to do next.”  I wish I were less familiar with that state of mind.  Career directions that unexpectedly fizzled.  Family relationships that remained unreconciled.  Financial resources that were expected and never materialized.  Prayer for physical healing which have not yet materialized.  Situations in which it is difficult to discern the best path out of the valley and onto the heights.  Valleys where the “shadow of death”, as the Psalmist writes, lie long and dark across our paths.

Yet it seems to me that every God-seeker has wandered onto the streets of that neighborhood at some time in their lives.  Luke records that Peter found himself there while he warmed himself by the fire as Jesus faced the first of His mock trials.  Joseph was unexpectedly plunged onto the block when his betrothed, Mary, “before they came together …was found to be with child.”  (Matt 1:18)

John the Baptist sat on the Wits End Corner while, imprisoned by Herod, “sent word by his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are you the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?'” (Matt. 11:2-3)  Mary Magdalene, weeping throughout the depths her soul, stared disbelievingly as Jesus suffered on the cross.   The disciple Thomas, when told by his companions that they had seen the risen Jesus, responded “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25)

Unbelief.  A brutal invasion of doubt.  Fear’s thick cloud of confusion.  Stumped.

But Jesus is unfathomable in His love and depth of compassion. Continue reading “At Wit’s End”