A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish…
Isaiah 42:3 NASB
I was reminded of this verse today, and I want to take a moment to clarify something in light of this truth. In my post “Are You Intact?” I wrote the following:
“The Lord just opened my eyes to see that I must have a ME to give Him. What do I surrender to God if I have handed over my will to another? If I’ve sold my heart and soul for the promise of love, then what do I have left to set upon Him? It’s not enough for me to be willing to surrender. I’ve got to have a life to lay down, a will to submit, a whole heart to set upon the Lord. I gave it away, and it’s mine to take back.”
This is as true for me now as it was when I wrote it last week, BUT I want to make sure that no discouragement or doubt is the takeaway. I’ve been dealing with the issue of my will for years. This was not my first time around the mountain – more like 40th time, if not more. And each time around was absolutely necessary to bring me to the breaking point. Not a day was wasted, not a dealing was useless—not ever! If I hadn’t needed the time, then I wouldn’t have had it. I trust that God’s hand has been steady and perfect, and my dealings were lovingly and sovereignly orchestrated as He saw fit. Only God knew when my heart was sufficiently prepared, the ground at last ready to bear fruit.
I asked Martha more than a few times, “When will I be done with this?!” I was discouraged and ashamed that I couldn’t seem to get where I needed to go. Martha was unperturbed in the face of my despair. She had faith for His move when I found it hard to believe, and I would never want to do anything other than celebrate the Lord’s victory in someone else’s life, especially when it seems long in coming. So take heart if you’ve yet to experience a lasting break-through on some persistent thorn in your side; God alone knows the time it takes, and “a bruised reed He will not break.”
In addition to the time and well-worn ground issues, I also want to touch on the revelation I mentioned, about “having my ALL to give” to God. When the Spirit first told me that I must have a ME to give Him, one of my reactions was panic. Had I never truly surrendered? Was every “yes” to Him insufficient up to now? And if so, was I really born again? The Holy Spirit was a steady Light in my storm of doubt, and one of His assurances was this: “a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.” I gave the “yes” I had to give. However flickering and weak and dim it may have been, I gave it to Him. And God was satisfied, so there was no problem, no crisis, no need for panic.
BUT…I had also gone as far as I could go with such a severely crippled will and heart. I’ve spent more time in the wilderness than out during the past year, and that’s all been very necessary for the explosive move of God in my life now. So take heart, any wilderness wanderers reading this today. We are promised that “those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself).” God promised to get us where we need to go, but He didn’t give us the blueprint for what it would look like or how long it would take. We hate the mess, but our Father? He doesn’t mind at all.