Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reeds and Wicks, the broken and burnt out...

Reeds. Few 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 hallowed out and holes bored in 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 harsh religion. Wicks. Nothing is closer to extinction than a smoldering wick. When the oil in primitive lamps was gone and the wick burned low, it was extinguished, thrown away as worthless and replaced. Did you once burn with faith, lighting the path for others until the icy winds of criticism, unforgiveness and judgmentalism left you in the 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 and 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 disciplies 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: "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.*

*this is taken from a devotional sharing from Matthew 12:20