Reeds and Wicks

 “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.”(Mt 12:20)

reedsFew things are more fragile than a bruised reed. In Christ’s day, children playing beside the river made music pipes out of them. They were hollowed out and holes bored into them. But afterwards they were bruised and discarded. Perhaps you once stood tall and strong, nourished and rooted in the riverbed. But now you are hidden in the rushes, bruised by hurtful words, a mate’s betrayal, your own failure or some other event in your life.

Nothing is closer to extinction than a smoldering wick. When the oil in primitive lamps wickswas gone and the wick burned low, it was extinguished, thrown away as worthless, and then replaced. Did you once burn with faith, lighting the path, lighting the path for others until the icy winds of criticism, unforgiveness and judgementalism left you in darkness?

What do all these people have in common? A woman trembling before an angry mob threatening to stone her; A house surrounded by people with a paralyzed man on a stretcher begging his friends not to give up until they get him to Christ; A blind man crying out for his sight and the disciples telling him to be quiet? They are all bruised reeds and smoldering wicks that Jesus refused to give up on.

The world thinks it knows what to do with you – break you off and snuff you out! But not Jesus! Another translation of Matthew 12:20 says, “He does not crush the weak, or quench the smallest hope.” (TLB) No matter how far gone you may feel today, you’re not beyond the reach of God’s grace. Come, He will treat you gently. He will make you whole again!


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