“a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice”
Have you ever seen reeds at the edge of a river? They’re beautiful; standing tall and strong. This is because they’re near their life’s source, the water, which they soak up, through their hollow, drinking straw-like stem.
Drinking continually from the river keeps them strong from the inside out.
Sometimes big clumsy feet come along; perhaps the wading boots of a fisherman or even the hooves of cattle, and they trample carelessly on those reeds.
The reed that, a few moments ago, was standing tall and sturdy is now bent, bowed and bruised.
A Bruised Reed
Are you a bruised reed? Are you in a place in life at the moment where you feel you can’t take much more?
Have you been bruised by disappointment, grief, the betrayal of a friend, a spouse’s harsh words, the loss of a job, chronic illness?
You’re still by the river, the source of your life, trying to stand up, but somehow you don’t seem able to take in nourishment in the same way.
“What’s wrong with me?” You may think to yourself.
But what happens when you take a straw, bend it and then try to drink through it? It’s not possible is it?
During Isaiah’s time, the taller, straighter reeds were as used as a type of flute because of their capacity to produce a sweet sound.
The bent or bruised ones -the word used for bruised –rasas – means ‘slightly damaged’ – would have been tossed aside.
Wow. That’s ‘the way of the world’, isn’t it? Throw out the slightly damaged ones, the ones that don’t quite ‘make the grade’. The ‘mess-ups’.
That’s not the way our God works!
Good news – Our God is in the restoration business!
Shepherds in Biblical times would bind two reeds together to make a flute, which they would while away the lonely hours playing their music on.
These small flutes were fragile and could be easily damaged. If that happened, the shepherd would just toss it away, or crush under foot and make a new flute.
God, as your Shepherd will never toss away his bruised little flute. It doesn’t matter to your loving Shepherd if the music that comes from your bruised heart is a little wobbly; if it is played for Him it is music to His ears. He tenderly makes repairs, binding up the broken parts until once more you’re standing tall and strong.
If you’re in a place in life where you’re feeling as though you cannot take anymore. This is what he says to you:
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthinans 12:9
Part 2 – “A faintly burning wick” to follow soon.
Jill McIlreavy 💜
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