A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice… (Isaiah 42:3).
(Scriptural Context: Isaiah reveals the coming Messiah as “Servant.” God will unlock eternity and justice for the “Gentiles” (everyone who is not of Jewish descent).
As a boy, if I wasn’t jumping hay bales on my horse or playing basketball, Mom put a shovel in my hand to dig out nuisance cattails that plugged up our irrigation ditches. These reeds (also called bulrushes) choked off the flow of water that irrigated our pasture.
Sweat stung my eyes as I worked, but I noticed that whenever I bent a cattail stalk, it folded over easily, never to stand upright again. If I bruised this reed, it was done. Finished.
Today, many of us have been bruised—feeling too bent to fulfill God’s purpose. We feel like it’s too late to reclaim the momentum required of us because of age, or abuse, or weariness.
Isaiah’s words helped me reshape my faith, and ultimately my destiny, when I understood the meaning of the Jewish idiom: A BRUISED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK.
In other words, God will never cut us off—it’s not in his nature to reject us no matter how bruised we feel. We must not waste time feeling bent by shame, because our path to restoration is irrevocable. (Romans 11:29) Our purpose is secured in heaven. God intends to strengthen, heal and restore.
And if you worry that your flame is out, think again: God tells us that A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT SNUFF OUT. Embers remain, even if you can’t feel a glow, and it’s in God’s nature to restore light in us.
But can he? After months, years, decades?
The wick still smolders, my friend—and it only waits for oil.
Just ASK, and Jesus will refill you (remember: oil in scripture is a symbol of God’s Spirit). He will joyfully ignite his wick in you. Follow the well-marked path of God’s promises and ASK for him to fill you. It’s that simple. ASK. It’s that crucial—to your fulfillment and your future.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
[Jesus said] “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)