Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) wrote in his book, The Bruised Reed:
“It is no easy matter to bring a man from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, so unyielding and intractable are our hearts,” (pg. 6).
This most influential and gentle puritan was referring to what would characterize the life of Christ (Isa. 42:1-3; Matt. 12:18-20). Christ would tend his sheep like tending to a nearly broken reed. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and yet feel weak and helpless, then you are like a bruised reed that Christ will not deal so severely with you that you break. If you feel worthless because you cannot perform many things at optimum level, if you feel that you have little to offer, if you feel that on most days, life is barely manageable, if you feel that Christ cannot love such a wreck as you, if you tally your life as lacking far behind, if you are prone to despondency with past regrets and feel that there is little to look forward to, if you are feeling more sadness than joy, more loss than gain, more emptiness than plenty, if you are keenly aware of your sins and the greatness of grace that covers them all, if you wonder why your life seems to be much heavier than others, then know this:
How much grace does it take to bring a suffering, broken, bruised, and nearly crushed child of God home to heaven? If we knew the massive burdens that some saints bear, we would applaud them for just rising out of bed in the morning. Some saints bear such grievous loads that it takes all of heaven’s grace to bear them up. That they stagger on and on and on to the promised land is no small feat.
It just might be that the weakest among us are actually the most courageous and strongest of all. This is why Jesus is gentle with our bruises. He knows our need, for he too was “bruised for our iniquities” so that he might heal us (Isa. 53).
I wonder if I am such a reed and if so is possible to be better than I am now? That was a blessing to hear you talk about that on Wednesday but it was also heavy. I want to be better and when I hear even small bits of a life like Gary shared I ask myself what claim do I have on sadness? Even still I do feel some of what you wrote of discribes my life and spirit. Thank you for Wednesday and this post.
Great artclie, thank you again for writing.