Yeah, it hurts every time. And yeah, my leg turns black and blue and puffy.
Why do I keep doing it? Especially 30 times???
I don’t try to. I don’t want to.
But on days when I’m in a hurry to round the corner, or I’m mindlessly thinking about something else, boom.
Sometimes I feel like a bruised reed because of circumstances. Sad things surround me. I feel wounded by life.
And rightly so. But my real bruising is not from loss or grief or disappointment.
It’s an inside job.
That’s what I hear Richard Sibbes saying in The Bruised Reed. In chapters 2 and 3, I read:
- Jesus doesn’t break the bruised
- The reason we’re bruised? Our own sin
Just as the bed doesn’t reach out and grab my thigh to bruise it, neither does sin gets its grip on me without my consent. Sin happens when I’m in too big of a hurry and cut a corner. Or when I mindlessly take my focus off Jesus.
I may not want to. I try not to. But I do sin. A new bruise.
Bruised reeds are those brought low not just by their crosses, but by realization of their sin…
…those who understand that sin is their greatest enemy, and that God’s favor is their greatest gift.
…those who are humble and compassionate, and who tremble at God’s word.
Jesus and bruises
What does Christ do with bruised reeds? He doesn’t break a man when he’s down. (That’s what Satan does—he attacks us when we’re weakest.) Christ extends a hand to lift the humble up.
As a healer, Christ binds the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:0). As a master, He shepherds. As a prophet, he gives blessing. As a priest, he dies for sinners.
Surgeons will lance and cut, but not dismember. A mother who has a sick and self willed child will not therefore cast it away.
And shall there be more mercy in the stream than in the spring? Shall we think there is more mercy in ourselves than in God, who plants the affection of mercy in us?
We should come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). “Shall our sins discourage us, when he appears there only for sinners?” No. Let’s open our wounds to him. Don’t hide our bruises. Understand our need for a Savior.
So maybe a bruise isn’t so bad after all.
Christ’s goal isn’t my happiness; it’s my holiness.
Let this support us when we feel ourselves bruised. Christ's way is first to wound, then to heal.
No sound, whole soul shall ever enter into heaven.
My bruise shows me where I keep running into the post, and makes me walk farther around it and closer to God. It encourages me to slow down at the tempting spots instead of being in a hurry to do things my way.
I am a bruised reed because of the sin in me.
But I’m only bruised, not broken, because of the Lord in me.
There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.
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