A bruised reed and a smoking flax
Updated: Jan 25, 2022
Things to remember when you are hanging by a thread.
As Christians we all appear to go through times when we seem to be getting
overwhelmed by the circumstances or by the difficulties in our lives.
Disappointment, rejection, apparent failure, illness, stress, family and
financial problems to name but a few of the things that come against God's
people. This may give us a feeling that God is somewhat distant, uninvolved or
uncaring or at worst he has forgotten about you.
But is this true? How does God feel about us when we are hanging by a thread?
Let us turn to His word to see how God feels and how God deals with His people
when they feel that they are hanging by a thread.
Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul.
delights: I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench:
he shall bring forth judgement unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he has set judgement in the
earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Jesus, your Jesus, my Jesus, our Jesus, mild and yet so strong, not seeking to
draw attention to himself. Quietly going about his father’s business, not
striving by his flesh for the weapons of his warfare are not carnal but mighty.
through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Jesus is patient and kind.
towards his own, and you are his own!
When we are crushed and bruised, he sets a limit. Precious spices and ointments
need to be crushed to give their aroma! He never allows us to be tempted above.
our measure. Remember the story of Joseph and his brothers.
When your flame is only smouldering, he will not put it out, he never intended to,
quite the opposite. The devil means to break us and snuff out our light (this
little light of mine) but Jesus wants us to be whole and to burn with a pure light.
Matthew 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well
pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgement to the
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the
20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench,
till he sends forth judgement unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Jesus shows power and grace in bearing up the weak and the suffering, to produce
perseverance, but never to kill or destroy our faith in him. Sometimes, God needs
to deal with the comfort in our lives to confront and destroy our pride of life,
complacency, self sufficiency, wrongful dependence on others. Ultimately whatever we go through it is for our benefit as it says in Romans 8 28. Although a wonderful truth this does not make it easy for us but produces confidence that in the end it will be for our benefit and blessing.
In his name the Gentiles trust, are you trusting him today in your particular
The reed is made up of long strands or filaments but when enough of them are.
bruised or broken the reed just snaps in two and is no use for its purpose. Reeds can
made into papyrus which as you know was the ancient world’s version of paper. God
wants to heal your broken strands so that he can write his gospel message of
love on you and in you. You are God's perfumed living love letter to your fellow.
God does not kill or destroy his own wounded. He binds up the broken-hearted and
restores us to wholeness.
Do you remember Elton John’s song ‘candle in the wind’, In the song the
flame is tossed to and fro with absolutely no control. However Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world…and yet it seems that problems and difficulties in our lives seem to cut off the either the air or the flow of wax vapour. In the case of the flax,
smouldering is the final stage before the flame is extinguished.
When we feel we are hanging by a thread or our faith is about to smoulder out, Jesus comes to strengthen and breathe his life into us again.
At school, in the chemistry class, the test for oxygen was that it relit a glowing or
smouldering taper. So the awareness of the presence of Jesus Christ by his
spirit relights our love and faith in God. We just need to get into his
presence and allow the oxygen of his love to re-ignite our hearts. We must
remember all his precious promises to us!
Then we can go on to be once again Gods love letter, living and perfumed.
epistles to our fellow man and bring the light of the world into the hearts
of the unbelievers.
Jesus does not just want to keep you hanging by a thread or smouldering but wants to
bring you back into fullness. Whole and burning brightly!
Strong and gentle Jesus!
Make us whole and burning brightly for you today.