A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.
Matt. 12:20-21, NIV

picture by Selaphotography
Dysfunctional, addict, needy, whore, broken-down, abused, abandoned, resistant, unreliable, lost cause. These are just some of the names we might give to people the scripture refers to as bruised reeds and smoldering wicks. Jesus doesn’t give up on people and cast them aside as easily as we do. His compassion for the down and out is so important it was not only predicted in Isaiah 42:3 of the Old Testament, but repeated in Matthew to introduce Jesus as the true Son of God:

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.”
Matthew 12:18

I’m so glad we serve a God who gives us chance after chance to turn to Him. I’m especially grateful when that tenderness extends to the ones I love and long for so much it aches.  For one reason or another, some people have a harder time accepting Christ’s love than others. He will do whatever it takes to reach them.

We’re surrounded by bruised reeds – people who have been hurt or abused. They have memories and scars that hinder their ability to trust in a faithful, loving God. The smoldering wicks are the ones who want to believe, who start to believe, but then the winds of worldly passion and lies keep the flame from burning bright and true. Jesus understands these frailties and doesn’t give up on them.

One day there will be justice. The unrepentant will get what they wanted – eternal separation from God – the forgiven, will rest forever in the presence of the One they love. In the meantime, God will not turn away anyone who trusts in Him and calls out for forgiveness, no matter how many times they have rejected Him before.

If you’re wondering today if God even wants to rescue you from the mess you have made or the damage that’s been done to you, you can be sure, He does. That’s His idea of the ultimate victory. Now is the time; today is the day, to let Jesus come in and heal the broken places of your life. He will make you clean and new, and stay with you through this life, and into eternity.