” A bruised reed He will not break,
and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.
In faithfulness, He will bring forth justice.”
Two weeks ago I stood in front of a classroom and taught this verse. I shared with students preparing for missions work the promises of God for us in the hard times. We talked about growing in the painful places and the closeness of God in the shadows.
The truth is, I never knew so much about suffering until I followed God’s call to the mission field. I don’t say this in a “poor me” sense, because there is a richness to really living out a conviction and paying something for it. I don’t regret it, and I know that you don’t have to be a missionary to suffer. You merely have to walk around on this earth. Sin damages all, and leaves us with loss.
I think the loss is magnified when we answer the call to serve others. We begin to see our own losses mirrored in the world around us. It becomes inescapable. I see it in the poverty all over the streets, in the eyes of a girl forced into prostitution at 12, in a man who has thrown his life away with alcohol and drugs.
This world wants to break us…the distortion wants to crush us and make us less than whole. The crime, and violence, and poverty, and collective outcry of the nation around me is an echo of my own inner cry for justice.
How long God?
How long can the world go on, so skewed, so just plain wrong? Where is the justice, where is the hope?
I do not know.
The only thing I know is the promise of this verse. Today I am walking through something hard, so I hold it for me, and I hold it for El Salvador.
We can be bruised, but not broken. We can smolder in the ashes of misery but not be snuffed out because we serve the God of justice. He will bring justice into the poverty, into the losses of innocence, the broken relationships, and even the suffering of my own tired soul. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when but I cling to this truth with hope. Today, tomorrow, and the day after.
I may be bruised, but I will never be broken.