Smouldering Wicks and Bruised Reeds

‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out,

till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.’  Matthew 12:20,22 NIV

There are, in our world, those who are strong; powerful people with personality oozing from every pore of their being; those who have ‘got it all together’ in the eyes of the world’s media. They will always be picked first for the sports team, invited to the party and be right up there in the successful, networking strata of society. People who are in the limelight. People who everyone notices. That doesn’t mean that those lives are necessarily selfish. Many go on to use their very visible talents to benefit society or bring pleasure to others, often becoming leaders in their own chosen career or indeed of their country.

But what of the many who, in contrast, feel ignored, hurt, despised, weak or failures. Like candles, their flame flickers with each breath of air that passes. It barely stays alight. The tiny wick sends up plumes of smoke warning that all is not well. Who notices and cares?

The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to seek and to save what was lost. It is with great tenderness and love that He goes about that task, especially among those who feel there is no hope, like smoking candles. Only He, the Light of the world, can redeem broken, sinful lives and bring light out of darkness. He bids all those who are weary to come and find rest in Him.

‘Touched with a sympathy within,

He knows our feeble frame;

He knows what sore temptations mean,

For he has felt the same.

But spotless, innocent, and pure

The great Redeemer stood,

While Satan’s fiery darts He bore,

And did resist to blood.


He in the days of feeble flesh,

Poured out his cries and tears;

And, in his measure feels afresh

What every member bears.


He’ll never quench the smoking flax,

But raise it to a flame;

The bruiséd reed he never breaks,

Nor scorns the meanest name.


Then let our humble faith address

His mercy and his power;

We shall obtain delivering grace,

In the distressing hour.’

Isaac Watts

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