Yes. It's true. It has happened to me more than once in my lifetime. There comes a season when you cannot take another hit. You cannot endure another betrayal. You lose your breath to think of surviving another loss. I've been there. Done that.
It doesn't matter, really, what people say to you to encourage you through the season because it isn't what other people are saying to you, but what you are saying to yourself. You assume that you will not be useful to anyone, anywhere, anymore. You are convinced that your best days are probably behind you. The identity you used to have - and the identity you had to the world - has taken a huge hit. For whatever reason. You feel like a failure of the faith you professed. It happens. To lots of good-hearted people who tried to follow close in the steps of Jesus.
The problem with being a smoldering wick and bruised reed is that that is actually who and what you are. You are bruised. You are broken. You are not really a wheat harvest prize. And the fire that used to burn hot and brightly through you (your wick) is barely there anymore. You are different than you used to be. You are less than you used to be. This is the truth.
Been there. Done that. And so, almost two decades ago, as I was settling in to my new role as a less-than-I used-to-be follower of Jesus, I read this Scripture. Matthew 12:20 says:
A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,till he has brought justice through to victory."
The New Living Translation says it this way: He will not break a broken branch. He will not put out a little fire until He makes things right."
And like a lightening bolt..... like a flash of light invading my dark and despairing heart.. I saw the actual truth:
I was done with me in my present condition but Jesus wasn't.
I was certain my best days were behind me but Jesus wasn't.
I was convinced I could not burn hot again but Jesus wasn't.
Jesus was still on the same path with me that He had always been on. To make things right in my life. To bring justice in my life. To bring victory in my life.
Truth is, Jesus does not despise broken people. He loves them. Jesus doesn't throw us away when our light gets weak. He still wants us. He still loves us. He still has wonderful victorious plans for us. I gave Jesus my brokenness... and He made things right.
Whenever we go to Him with our broken branches and our smoldering wick.. He continues to work out His plan for our lives.
I know that some of you reading this may feel like you've messed up too much.
That you are broken beyond repair.
That your light has gone out forever.
That is not the truth.
Jesus is not finished with you. So don't be finished with yourself.
His love can overlook your weaknesses.
He has the power to mend broken lives... and to bring that flame back to its white hot burn.
He loves you.
Please don't give up on yourself.
Jesus never will.