A bruised reed

~ Thoughts from Chapter 1 of The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
“The Reed and the Bruising”

The bruised reed is a man that for the most part is in some misery, as those were that came to Christ for help, and by misery he is brought to see sin as the cause of it, for, whatever pretences sin makes, they come to an end when we are bruised and broken.

A bruised reed.

It’s a good description of me. I’m not an oak, just a reed. But I’m only bruised, not broken. contortionist-table

And Christ is dealing with me. That’s a good thing. He’s gentle, but firm.

He knows just how far I can bend without breaking.

He’s working to improve my serve by placing me in an active sandwich role of mom and daughter. And I’m struggling. 

I feel a little banged up. My self-centeredness trips me up. My pride and fears are also big obstacles in my path.

But Jesus specializes in working with the sinful and weak and wounded. He is the perfect medicine to heal all my scrapes and wash off all my ugliness.

As I place this bruised reed in his hand,
I’ll live by his mercy, and
I’ll hope in his name
(Matthew 12:20-21).

* * *

Excerpts from Chapter 1

In time of temptation, apprehensive consciences look so much to the present trouble they are in that they need to be roused up to behold him in whom they may find rest for their distressed souls.

In temptations it is safest to behold nothing but Christ the true brazen serpent, the true ‘Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world’, (John 1:29).


We see, therefore, that the condition of those with whom he was to deal was that they were bruised reeds and smoking flax; not trees, but reeds; and not whole, but bruised reeds.

The church is compared to weak things: to a dove amongst the fowls; to a vine amongst the plants; to sheep amongst the beasts; to a woman, which is the weaker vessel.


This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by levelling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature.

After conversion we need bruising so that reeds may know themselves to be reeds, and not oaks. Even reeds need bruising, by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy.

Such bruising may help weaker Christians not to be too much discouraged, when they see stronger ones shaken and bruised.

* * *


This is Day 1 of Tim Challie’s Reading Classics Together.” Download The Bruised Reed free online, or grab a hardcopy, and read along with us.

More comments from the group on chapter 1 here.


Dianna said...

Thank you, Lisa, for such a thought provoking post. A bruised reed...much better than being broken. Isn't it special how tender God's grace is?

Thank you, also, for stopping by earlier today. I hope you'll come again.

Jude St.John said...

"But Jesus specializes in working with the sinful and weak and wounded." Good stuff! That means I'm a candidate!

Good to see you comment; I'm glad you're reading the classics again this time and I'll be checking in on you regularly.


ps - I've been teaching English this past year...that's probably why I sniffed out the literary device! I'm usually slow on the uptake!

Dorothy said...

Thanks for the encouragement this morning, Lisa! You've spurred me on to love and good deeds.


Related Posts with Thumbnails