Monday, March 11, 2024

Devotionals for the Heart: Showing why we need Jesus Christ in our life

A Bruised Reed
A devotional by Aubrey Taylor

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
—Isaiah 42:3 (NIV)

Some people don’t want God. They think they don’t need God. Even if they might identify themselves as Christians, their behavior shows pride and stubbornness. They are self-made.

Occasionally within the walls of the church, the subject comes up about God needing to break our stubborn will, our pride, our obstinacy. It can be quite frightening to think we are all that way; that we are all raising our fist in God’s face, or that we are all untamed horses, needing to be broken in.

The other day I was tempted to pray this for someone in my life who needs to allow Jesus Christ to have His way: “Lord, please break this person.” Then I felt God speak to my heart: “This person is already broken. They are wounded and that is what is keeping them from trusting Me.”

This is entirely different from being stubborn and self-reliant. The person does not need to be broken again. The person needs to be healed. I suppose it is true that some wounds need to be broken again for healing to take place, but this is not God’s heart when He says of Jesus, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” Something like a reed is delicate and needs to be handled gently. A person in that condition needs to learn to trust.

I have been such a reed. My heart was damaged and trust seemed impossible. I berated myself, believed I was in sin, and sat under a weight of guilt and shame, feeling that I could not possibly measure up to the standard. Yet I also could not detect what was wrong. It was only then that I realized I needed healing, not brokenness.

We all have a measure of stubbornness and pride. But beloved, if you feel distant from God, do not automatically assume that some undefined sin is keeping you away from your Heavenly Father. A father who loves his child is going to help that child see where sin might exist in their life. But if there is no sin, we need to ask deeper questions. A good place to start may be, “Lord, what is it that stands between us?” For me it became an issue of, “Lord, what happened in my past that makes it so difficult for me to trust in You today?”

Perhaps you are already too keenly aware of your brokenness. Don’t shy away from healing; ask God to help you find ways to overcome. Our Father longs to heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). Seek restoration, not as a stubborn sinner who has gone against a loving God, but as a hurting child who longs to rest, fully confident, in the arms of their Father.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Lord Jesus, I ask You to search my heart and show me if it is pride and stubbornness that is keeping us apart, or if there is something deeper. Let me know if I have a deep wound that has caused me to be unable to trust You. If that is the case, I pray today that You would begin to heal me. Show me ways in which I can seek healing. Help me open up to You, and begin to trust again. In Your Name Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Stay Broken” by Duawne Starling. Listen here.

Author Bio:

The only child of a single parent, Aubrey Taylor filled her younger years by creating characters and writing stories. This ended around age sixteen when music, friends and part-time jobs began to fill her time. After that came college, work, marriage, and children. 

It wasn’t until the world was beginning to come out of the COVID pandemic that God led her back to her love for writing, coupled with a passion she’d always had for history. It was time to start a new adventure!

Along with writing devotionals, Aubrey is the author of the German-perspective 20th Century Fiction series, Gott Mit Uns. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing or taking care of her home and family, she enjoys singing and dancing with friends from a German choir and a Bavarian folk dancing group. She is also a lover of Jesus Christ, The Holy Bible, history, German culture, tea, and cats!

Connect with Aubrey:
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