“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction…”
Whew… where do I begin? Probably like I did yesterday when I started reading my Bible. I was overwhelmed a little of where to start so I just opened up my Bible and read the section that my eyes first laid sight on: Isaiah 40. From there I began to just read the chapters after, and as I came to chapter 42, my eyes did a double take as I read the first few verses. Wait, what? It was just a small section of a verse, especially of a verse or chapter that’s not well read, yet it was there, hidden a bit, where God whispered into my soul a deeper meaning than this simple sentence: “He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering flame.”
Have you ever thought of what a flickering flame is? It’s a wick threatened by the environment around it: the wind, lack of fluid (however oil lamps burn), or the wick is almost out. Whatever the case, it’s on it’s last leg and is about to die.
Same with the weakest reed. Reed is used for so many things: thatching, music, baskets, mats, weapons (spears), paper (i.e. papyrus), etc. When a reed is weak, it is useless, worthless even. No one wants to use a reed that doesn’t fulfill it’s intended purpose.
How many of you have felt like this?
How many of you women have felt burnt out, worthless, useless, tired, weary, incapable, like a failure, hidden, weak, shut up/quieted, shoved aside, etc??
Have you ever looked in the mirror and absolutely hated what you’ve seen? All you see is your failures and deferred dreams staring back at you?
I would love to encourage you today of this one thing:
GOD IS FOR YOU.
God is not a bully. When I read this description of Christ in this chapter, I was quite a bit intimidated by Him. He was absolutely PERFECT in every single way. And me? Ha. I am NOT worthy of even a glance from Him let alone any care He desires to bestow upon me. God, caring? Psh. Yeah, right. Do you not see what He is called to do?
And then here is me (even you): broken, beaten down, discouraged, and worthless. Who am I that He should be mindful of me (Psalm 8:4)?
And yet, He is! He is mindful of you.
As I read this passage I got an image of a gentle God. In all of His power and might, He takes time to care for the least of us. He takes time to stop and care for the flickering candle. He won’t let you die. I know it doesn’t say exactly in this passage, but I see Him not only not letting the flame die, but I see Him restoring it. Just like in Isaiah 41:10, He says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” He’s not a God that sees your defeat and lets you sit in it. He takes you out of that mire and places you on solid ground.
Same with the weakest reed. This is the part I struggle with the most in life, especially among my family. I feel I am the weakest one of them. I compare myself to them constantly, especially when it comes to gifts. It doesn’t help I was told for many years that my very existence was an inconvenience to everyone around me. Yet God doesn’t crush the weakest reed. In fact, does He even consider the weakest reed weak? I mean, think of Gideon! He definitely believed he was the lowest of the low, yet when God visited him before he became a leader, He called him, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” (Judges 6:12).
Like I said before, God is a gentle God. He is a God of love, rest, and strength. Take all of you: your pain, past, hurt, discouragements, deferred hopes and dreams, beliefs of yourself, lies spoken to you, etc… and put it at the foot of the cross. Take all of your burdens to the LORD, and let Him become your rest. Just like Matthew 11:28-30 (I LOVE this passage!) says, “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'”
May you all have a blessed week!
Woman of Purity~