Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks

MATTHEW 12:15-21 – Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  BRUISED REEDS AND SMOLDERING WICKS.  Did we see ourselves in today’s scripture? We are there. All of us. Not our names, but certainly our spiritual experiences in walking with the Lord. Again, I ask, “Do we see ourselves?”  If not, here are the descriptions and then we will.


Recall the times in our walks with the Lord, and not because of sin, when we felt so overwhelmed with circumstances, weakened to the point of exhaustion in long periods of service seeing little, if any fruit, and became so discouraged the temptation to go to the sidelines in the race of faith or raise the white flag of surrender in the good fight of faith was real and intense. Granted we would never do either as the true saint cannot quit.  The Lord’s hold and perseverance upon us won’t allow such departure, but every honest committed Christian knows those emotions and experiences occur and not once in life.


So, do we see ourselves in the scripture of the day now? Bruised reeds and smoldering wicks. That’s us. All of us.  Both are pictures of people who are weak, fragile, and easily broken in the case of the reed, and easily “blown out” in the case of the smoldering wick.  And in both cases, we are extremely vulnerable to accusations from the devil – “Look at you, what type of Christian are you? God doesn’t love you. If He did, why all this pain, disappointment, and discouragement?”  We are also prone to look around with envy at others who seem to have it all together with little problems in life.  By the way, no one has it together or experiences problem-free living.   Yes, bruised reeds and smoldering wicks – and what type of treatment do we get from the Lord Jesus in those most vulnerable of positions?  Wonderful treatment!


First the Lord Jesus doesn’t grow impatient and snap us like a fragile reed growing on the shorelines of a pond, lake, or river.  He never looks at His bruised reed with anything other than love, mercy, and with a helping, not a breaking hand, to sustain and restore us to a state of spiritual strength and vitality.


In the second fragile condition, a smoldering wick, the Lord’s treatment of us will never be in harsh attitudes or hurtful words blowing out what little strength is left in us. Instead, He comes with healing in His wings and words to such that are barely hanging on – But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall (Malachi 4:2) and He sent out his word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction (Psalm 107:20).


Bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.  Those are descriptions of every child of God, and in such states of weakness, we may rest confidently that the Lord of glory will come, not to break or snuff us out, but to strengthen us with His always kind and gentle care.



PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for giving me such a wonderful Savior who handles me with such gentle kindness.”


QUOTE: “Jesus always handles us with the greatest of care, even when He places His rod of correction upon us.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim