Jesus is the tangible revelation of God’s love. He did not reject anyone who came to Him by faith. Even long before He came as a man, the Prophet Isaiah revealed His loving and merciful nature – “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench” (Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20).

Why did Isaiah use these two items to represent broken mankind?

Pens And Lights

In antiquity, the Middle-Eastern people used reeds to make into pens. This hollow plant allowed the ink to flow smoothly and thus made writing on papyrus papers possible. When a reed was bruised, the ink would leak and thus rendered it useless. In most instances, the ancient writer would break the bruised reed and throw it away.

Like a pen, the reed was an instrument of expression. Therefore, I like to think of the reed as representing our voice and ability of expression. Only a  free hospice care los angeles dead person does not voice his opinions or share his feelings. The first thing Satan wants to do is to stop us from sharing and expressing our ideas, especially when we speak for the kingdom of God. He will make every effort to cut off our network of friends and isolate us so that we will be discouraged.

A smoking flax or a smoldering wick symbolizes our usefulness and the ability to shine for the Lord. It is no doubt that we have been created to shine for Jesus but when we fall into sins, our wick would become smoldered. We would not shine that brightly anymore. That is when the enemy of our souls seeks to terminate that light. He does that by encouraging people around us to say disparaging words or spread malicious rumors about us. When we allow all these words and rumors to enter our hearts, we would become bitter and angry. Please take note that it is not those gossips or criticisms that smolder our wicks but how we react to them that would terminate our light.

The Destructive Force of Bitterness

A missionary, who returned to America after giving forty years of his life to serve in Africa, became very discouraged when he learned that some people did not think much about his sacrifice. The new denomination officials made some policy changes that greatly reduced his pension and retirement benefits. Soon this former missionary became a very bitter man and refused to talk about the ministry at all. He even stopped attending church all together. His son told me that his father did not fully recover and died a broken man. When I learned about that, my heart grieved. Even though the denomination officials were insensitive to this missionary’s needs, it was the missionary, himself, who had allowed that bitterness to take hold of his life. I told myself that whatever happened, I had to guard my heart against bitterness and unforgiveness. No matter how difficult the situation, Jesus is still the One who would not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick.

If God has blessed you to be in the position to help another person, please do so. God may show you some people who are bruised badly by sins or situations and you must always be ready to become God’s hands extended in love and charity. It does not take a lot of effort to judge another person but it takes tremendous grace to extend God’s love.

Let me share with you the story about a pastor who has made incredible impact in the lives of many by extending God’s love to those who are down-and-out or fallen.


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