Monday, September 24, 2012

Wit's End

I think we all have that place we call our "wit's end" and we have been there numerous times.

When I reach my wit's end, I think of it as just that -- wit's END. I'm at the end of my wits, my patience, my rope, my faith, or my control. An end with no where to go.

What I'm finding out, the hard way, is that when I reach that place, it's not really the end, but the beginning. The Psalmist wrote "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble (their wit's end), and he brought them out of their distress" (Psa. 107:27).

I, like the Israelites, need to cry out to the Lord when I find myself at my wit's end because he will bring me out of my distress.

Now I try to look at my wit's end differently. I try to consider that maybe I'm at this particular place because God wants to:

  • Get my attention
  • Allow me to look at my circumstances and then to Him
  • Realize I'm never alone
  • Expose my need for Him
  • Turn me towards another direction

So how is that going to sound now?  . . . "I'm at my wit's BEGINNING."

I'll certainly give it a try. What about you?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

1-2-3's of Prov. 27:17

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,” (Prov. 27:17,  NIV).

The Oxford Dictionary says iron is “a strong, hard magnetic silvery-gray metal, the chemical element of atomic number 26, much used as a material for construction and manufacturing, especially in the form of steel.” 

Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,” (NIV). We need each other and God’s Word gives us an example, so we should take notice.

 First let's look at the 3 phases used to sharpen iron:
  1. Filing – The blade needs to be held at an angle while filing the edge with a metal file in slow measured strokes.
  2. Polishing – The filing phase leaves rough edges on the iron, therefore oil needs to be applied to a whetstone and rubbed back and forth to leave a smooth, sharpened, polished edge.
  3. Sanding – Heavy-duty sandpaper is rubbed carefully along both sides of the blade edge to blend the edges with the rest of the blade which adds an extra touch of sharpness.

So, if Prov. 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,” what does this look like?

  1. Filing – It takes an intentional effort to hold a blade and slowly file with a metal file. It’s the same with friendships and relationships. We must be intentional, taking time to get to know each other so we can help, challenge, and encourage each other.
  2. Polishing – A true friend is one who will see the rough edges on us that others won’t. Whether the rough edges are issues with family, friends, co-workers, or some issue of sin we are dealing with, the Holy Spirit – the oil, along with strong love and commitment from a friend can help smooth, sharpen, and polish these rough edges. 
  3. Sanding – Sounds painful, however by being a close friend and spending time together, we share and rub along both sides of the blade of life – the good times and the bad – helping each other as we add a touch of sharpness.
The results? We become stronger so we are more useful to serve God and serve others. Iron can't sharpen itself, and neither can we. 

Think about the friendships and relationships that are in your life at this moment. Be open to these 1-2-3's of Prov. 27:17 and where you are in the process AND where God may be using you in someone else's process. Either way, we need each other.

Now, thank God for those friendships . . . I already have!

photos courtesy of