A Bruised Reed

In Matthew 12:19-21, the Apostle draws on Isaiah 42.2-4 giving hope to all those faced with difficult challenges, who feel like they barely have a grasp on what is left of their life and purpose.

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. Matthew 12:19-21

While the bruises sometimes hurt so deep that the flickering energy of life seems not enough to bring recovery, hope is always there in Christ Jesus. It is the author of Hebrews who reminds us that “he is able to help” and it is he himself who said he would always be with us.

But, I also believe that this hope is available to those who are going through transient difficulties, even to those who, sore and tired, have a hard time just getting out of bed in the morning. I believe that though the whole of our life is good and rewarding, when we are going through tough times, when we are weakened, tired, and vulnerable, which we all experience, Jesus is there. The Christ pictured here does not at that low moment make any demands we cannot fulfill. Even his tough love is measured and nurturing, knowing when we are too bruised or our fire too low to shoulder the burden. He carries us when we cannot carry ourselves.

Many of us, whose lives are generally good, often feel guilty asking the Lord for help when we hit a bump in the road. Hey, there are plenty of people worse off than us. We should just deal with it. But often, it is in those weakened moments, despite the blessings we otherwise have received, that we stumble and fall most egregiously. The Devil does not offer any quarter, nor does our old man of sin, ever seeking an avenue of expression. Paul reminds us that we should always be careful because we are often the most vulnerable when we think we can deal with our problems (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Therefore, it is OK to call upon the Lord for help, anytime, anywhere, and in any circumstance. Previous blessings don’t disqualify you. Your need at the moment is what Jesus sees and likely more clearly than you do. So, call upon the Lord; ask for his help. He is there to aid you. Be humble and open to whatever or whomever he sends to assist you, since he is looking out for your welfare and it is his path you are trying to walk. Remember, no one can make it on their own. That is a lie of the Devil.

May God grant you grace and peace as you go about your day and may you have a blessed Lord’s day tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “A Bruised Reed

  1. As I’ve wandered through another ‘dark night of the soul,’ I have found comfort in the lament psalms and the Jeremiah’s book of his own sorrows.

    It is an indirect comfort, perhaps, but Christ Jesus nevertheless provides us with the companionship of others – such as David and Jeremiah – who have suffered through their own troubled times. In walking with them momentarily, there is comfort and a reminder of hope that was once possessed. In remembrance, is the realization that I will hope once again.

    God’s mercy and grace are remarkable. Even when it feels as though He has turned His back, He is faithful to send help through His faithful servants past and present.

  2. Amen. Prayer is such a blessing when we feel alone and tired. I’ve decided if people gave me nothing but prayer this Christmas, it would be the best gift ever. It is true, we are reluctant to pray over our smaller problems. All the more reason to have a circle of prayer warriors surrounding us!
    It’s wonderful that (almost) your whole family gathered for Thanksgiving. If you are ever passing through Pittsburgh on your way to see your nephew in Ohio, I hope you will stop by.

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