The Bible Verse I Love that Scares Me More than Most

This passage scares me.

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him … .
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
(Isaiah 42:1, 3.)

It comforts me, but it scares me.

"A bruised reed he will not break ..."

“A bruised reed he will not break …” (Photo: Wikipedia)

These verses are a prophecy. They describe Jesus. And they describe me. I’m the bruised reed he promises not to break. I’m the smoldering wick he promises not to snuff out dead.

So what am I afraid of?

I’m afraid that there are bruised reeds and smoldering wicks around me that I might be breaking and snuffing out.

I’m afraid I might be doing it without realizing it – although sometimes I am actually quite aware – because I see others doing it to people and it looks like they don’t realize it either.

Oppressed people, people who suffer, those who are marginalized and unwelcome: these are the bruised reeds and smoldering wicks, and there are people who are supposed to care for them but who instead break their spirits and snuff out their hope.

I am afraid that there are times I do that too.

What about you? Are you the bruised reed or weakened flame? Jesus will never break you or snuff you out.

Or have you been breaking bruised reeds and snuffing out smoldering wicks? That’s not good, not good at all. But still there is good news for you. Jesus doesn’t consider you hopeless.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … . (Romans 8:1.)

No condemnation means just that: none. This assurance is yours if you are in Christ Jesus. But that does not hand you a license to continue harming others. Nor me. Rather, I am compelled by the example of Jesus to be filled with sorrow. This too is good news because:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10.)

What is worldly sorrow? It is the sorrow I feel when I am sorry I got caught, or when I am sorry I hurt someone because it ended up affecting me negatively too. But godly sorrow is recognized by how it brings me to repent without regret for that repentance. It’s the sorrow that is prompted by the kindness of our heavenly Father. Or do you not know that:

God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4.)

Which brings me to this realization: I am glad to be a bruised reed. It reminds me how much I need the comfort of Jesus for my bruises and the kindness of Jesus for my repentance.

***

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16 Responses to The Bible Verse I Love that Scares Me More than Most

  1. Carol Noren Johnson says:

    This one scares me–

    “If we say we have no sin,
    we deceive ourselves,
    and the truth is not in us.”
    1 John 18

    So often we are proud of our theology and so blind to our pride and other sins. Truth without sin-check!!!

    • Tim says:

      I read that verse and question whether he is talking about unbelievers, using the word “we” rhetorically rather than self-referentially. If so, then he is really warning against the early Gnostics (as he seems to be elsewehere in the letter) who were without Christ and fooling themselves into thinking they were sinless.

  2. Hi Tim, I think of myself as the bruised reed, but I would not be surprised if in my woundedness I have wounded others. Thank you for the encouragement that Jesus sees each of us as we are and yet is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters. I wrote a poem about this concept, and when I read what you wrote, I thought of it:

    When I am bruised, O Lord, you won’t break me
    When I am smouldering, you won’t snuff me out
    O Lord, you come near to the heart that is broken
    And you lift up the fallen whose spirit is crushed

    Heavy-laden I come, for you give me your rest
    Weary and wandering, you teach me your way
    Your gentleness, Lord, is the strength that supports me
    And the burden you give me is easy and light

    When I am needy, you’re there close beside me
    When I feel condemned, you are at my right hand
    Yes, out of your goodness and love you have saved me
    And dealt with me well, my Deliverer and Friend

    I wish that I had more free time to comment on your blog – I really enjoy it! Maureen

  3. I am so, so slow in learning what you’re talking about here, Tim. I think I am way more likely to be the reed-bruiser. But I think I’m starting to get it. Just yesterday, after one of my kids had a terrible meltdown about (in my opinion) NOTHING WHATSOEVER, I realized I had to stop arguing. Stop saying that her reaction doesn’t make sense and she should think differently about it. Stop trying to change and correct. So I just said “That upset you, didn’t it? Well, I don’t think it was intentional. Let’s just change the subject.” For me, that was progress. You’re so right that we ALL need God’s comfort and kindness and grace.

    • Tim says:

      You response to your daughter sounds like it went far in acknowledging the way she felt, and also allowed you some space to reflect on how best to respond to her. Bruised reeds need time to strengthen.

  4. I love that verse! I’m reminded that I matter to the One who matters most. It also reminds me of the verses in Isaiah: ‘All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever.’ (Isaiah 40:6-8)
    And that verse reminds me of the fields of poppies that covered the fields in France after WW1. Jesus is the Word and if I know that He will cradle the bruised reed, then I surely know I am safe, secure, in Him. This is where I belong.

    • Tim says:

      That Isaiah passage about the fading flowers reminds me too of Jesus pointing out the fields of flowers and explaining that if God clothes the flowers so richly then he certainly takes care of his people even more so.

  5. Mary Anne says:

    Psalm 90 affects me like this, especially: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” It’s hard to take that in when you’re young and think you’ll live forever, but after losing my mom and seeing my dad get older, knowing that I may only have a little precious time left with him, this verse echoes through my head.

    But it does end in great comfort and hope:

    “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

  6. Pingback: The Bible Verse I Love that Scares Me More than Most – Sacred Scars

  7. What you have shared here is very close to my heart ❤

  8. Pingback: The Bible Verse I Love that Scares Me More than Most – GBFSV SPIRITUAL ABUSE VICTIMS' RECOVERY

  9. Reblogged this on Funhouse and commented:
    An older post by my friend TimFall

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