“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Isaiah 42:3)
It is lovely to come up to our Church’s building on a Sunday and see the car park filling up and the number of seats inside that are occupied. Encouraging, too, to see midweek meetings restored and all our groups functioning again post-COVID. Those spells of lockdown have become a significant marker for so many of us. “Pre-lockdown” and “post-lockdown” have become part of our everyday vocabulary. Our memories and stories are often shaped with wondering, “Now, was that before the first lockdown…or between the first and second…or during the third one?” While a high proportion of us are triple-vaccinated and boosted, COVID is still with us of course and infecting individuals among us even yet. And there are so many of us in our churches and communities still processing the impact of the illness itself, and the losses and the disruptions the pandemic inflicted. So many of us have been brought to the edge of brokenness.
And so, Isaiah 42:3 is a great encouragement. The words of the prophecy were first spoken in the midst of crisis and upheaval. They were spoken for a different time to a people far away geographically and culturally. I leave it to the scholars and theologians to resolve the issue of whether this message is case-specific or universal or messianic. I am content to rest in the knowledge that the God these words apply to is still the same. He is eternal and unchanging. He is still the gentle One who can handle a bruised reed without causing irreparable damage and breathe a smouldering wick back into life without smothering it. He is still the sensitive One who can take hold of those at the edge of brokenness and bring them back to wholeness.
Do you feel yourself at the edge of brokenness? Let Him take hold of you. Let Him breathe His new life into your situation. Let Him heal the brokenness.