Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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Isaiah 42:3 – A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (KJV)

One of the things that I enjoy in my spare time is writing captions for my photo album. This hobby requires some thought in choosing the best words to describe the expressions captured on film. Catchwords can be lighthearted or serious; they are also useful in organizing everyday and special events. I particularly like to come up with cute sayings to depict the family pets. For example, one photo shows my cat Anya sitting in a dignified fashion on top of the patio table, so my caption reads, "the purr-fect pose". But perhaps the most interesting part about writing captions is that each photo is a potential story; therefore, captioning draws attention to what may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Having the same idea in mind, I wondered how I would write a caption for today's Scripture. The figurative language is very expressive. A bruised reed can be described as very fragile, needing to be handled with extra care. The smoking flax, or as some translations render "a dimly burning wick" may flicker and go out altogether unless it is fanned very gently. So, the "Servant" whom the prophet Isaiah speaks of in chapter 42 is someone who would treat with great gentleness those who have been bruised.

The Servant is later identified in Matthew's gospel as the Messiah of Israel — the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:18a,19-20 – Behold my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. (KJV)

All of us are bruised reeds, wounded by sin and the evils of this world. Yet, the good news is that Jesus identifies with our suffering because He took upon Himself our infirmities and carried our sorrows. Therefore He will not extinguish our smouldering wick nor will He condemn us in our weakness; rather, it is His desire to heal and restore our souls, that we in turn, may glorify Him.

Perhaps an appropriate caption for the image presented in Isaiah can be called, "The Perfect Saviour", since He is the only One who can turn our weakness into strength, our sadness into joy, and our death into eternal life.

So, if you're feeling like a bruised reed shaking in the wind or a dimly burning wick about to go out — then, will you not turn to the Saviour and be healed?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, though our dimly burning wick may flicker, give us enough faith so that You can gently nurture it into a glowing flame. Heal our wounded hearts with Your love and fill us to overflowing with Your life-giving Spirit. We ask these things in Your holy name and for the sake of Your kingdom. Amen.

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Lori Ciccanti <>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen sister.

    Thanks for another good one Lori.

    An interesting analogy. Thank you Lori!

    Thanks Lori for this word today. Praying. Blessings.

    Dearest Lori,
    You are always inspiring. May God bless you in all that you do.

    Hi Lori
    what an absolutely beautiful message. May the Lord continue to bless you with “visuals” and encouragement.

    Thank you, Lori!
    I appreciate the gentle, careful steps you take in your writing. They reflect the same care our Savior takes with us.

    Good morning Lori:
    Thank you for the insight about the servant, the bruised reed, and the smoking flax. I’ve read that verse many times, but never given thought to what it means. Blessings to you for opening another bit of God’s word to my understanding.

    Lori, thank you so much for your timely devotional today. Just before heading for bed I had a call on the telephone from a previous member of our church family. Like many of us still left in the congregation he was the bruised reed as we were. It is good to know when all else fails our Saviour remains ever faithful to pick up our hurting souls.

    Good one Lori! Praise the Lord!
    Interestingly I’m just thinking about reorganizing my family photos, and planning to put some captions on them.
    I hope the caption of my life will be a good one of the Lord.

    Lori – Thank you for writing this devotional. I enjoyed this brief study of Jesus, the servant of the Lord.
    It is wonderful to know that He is our healer. Yes, as we turn to Him in our weakness, He gives us strength.
    God bless you.

    Dear Lori,
    Thank you for a well-thought-out and very helpful devotional.
    I pray that God will keep blessing you, and me, and many writers, with His ideas for devotionals.
    Keep writing.

    I was thinking of subsequent bruises of that reed and the reliability of the Saviour to keep watch over His reeds.
    How often we have barely recovered from on bruise when a gusty wind inflicts yet another breakage or bruise. And it is the caption on such a reed that might be a trifle more difficult to compose. “He was bruised for our iniquity…”
    The word bruise is ever such a cruel word since in incorporates burning with pain.
    The devotional was really reassuring.

    Your devotional today created so many visual images in my mind…a tapestry of thought! Thanks so much for sharing them. Your creativity is a beautiful gift from God and I am thrilled and full of praise each time I read what you have written.
    Each day I get the devotional, I quickly scroll down to see who has written it, then scroll back, as I do with yours, and slowly soak it in…over & over again, print it and read it many times.
    Blessings to you and yours.

    Good Morning Lori:
    This is the gospel in the nutshell.
    We are indeed all bruised seeds wounded by sin and the evils of this world, Yet you have offered to your readers the wonderful remedy of knowing Christ as their Savior and Lord and in doing so assured them, He will restore their souls and make them NEW creatures in Christ.
    A beautiful devotional with so much depth, however your main thought took us to Calvary and the gift of eternal life which Christ provides for the sinner who often feels he is beyond repair. May we never forget that without Christ we are all bruised reeds longing for peace of soul and mind, but “Jesus Came and Set the Prisoner Free.”

    Thank you Lori for reminding me who’s I am. I have been feeling like a candle about to go out, but I know Jesus is my healer. Sometimes we forget. Thank God for your kind and uplifting words.

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