Sunday, November 19, 2017

Reeds and Flax

 FIRST OF ALL...Happy birthday to my dear Brant! Anyone who knows him has heard these words: “Don’t forget November 19th is my birthday.”J

Now let’s get to the thought for the day....

ISAIAH 42:3 - “A bruised reed will He not break, and the smoking (dimly burning) flax will He not quench (snuff out).”

We recently heard a pastor quote this scripture from Isaiah 42:3. It was not the main focus of his message but he made the comment that “reeds are used to make music.” That interesting verse has caught my attention and I have been meditating on it a bit.

First of all, Webster’s definitions:

               Reed: A tall, slender grass. It can be used for thatching, basket work, musical instruments,  a loom part, an arrow, or an ancient Hebrew measuring unit.

 Flax: A slender, erect plant with delicate blue flowers. Its seeds can be used to make linseed oil or can be eaten; its fiber is spun into linen thread.

People can be “a bruised reeds” or "dimly burning flax.” But they can be whole again...they can be useful again for the Lord. They can “make music” and “burn brightly” again.

Brant and I go to the Chattanooga Rescue Mission every few weeks where I give the devotion for the ladies who come in for the night. Their favorite song to sing???  It is, week after week, “Victory In Jesus.” That tells us somewhere in their past lives these women have possibly been like “flax with delicate blue flowers” or “a reed to make a beautiful basket or music.” They have made wrong choices that have taken their lives in very bad directions. BUT some of the ladies have chosen to listen to wise counsel and, even though they are “bruised and dimly shining,” their lives have become profitable again.

We remind them of that wonderful promise in Psalm 103:10...”He does not treat us as our sins deserve...” God’s mercy is always there.

If you have not found the shop on the Northshore called “Renew All Things,” look it up or check out their website. It is located off the lower shopping area below Frazier Avenue. This is a local ministry rescuing women who were “bruised reeds and dimly burning flax.” They are now making lovely gifts to sell and telling their stories of how God has rescued them right here off the streets of Chattanooga through others who have given for this ministry.

As the holiday season comes, perhaps you will be with a family member or friend who needs to be reminded that a “bruised reed” is NOT a “broken reed” and can make music again. A “dimly burning flax” has NOT been “snuffed out.” Be “a Job” as in Job 4:4 - “Your words have supported those who have stumbled...” God’s love will be the best encouragement you can give along with hugs.

--Maylou Holladay 

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