Many of us feel weary and a bit confused. The idea of being aflame for God and channelling an overwhelming passion to extend the kingdom of God may not be the most prominent idea on our minds. This, of course, is a pity. But it does not mean God has turned his back on us as he busily searches out those whose hearts still burn and whose minds are super clear.
There are many of us who fall into the category of bruised reeds or dimly burning wicks of candles. We are somehow spiritually alive, but our fervour might be fading, and our faith is nothing to write home about. We do our best with the help of God, but we might suspect our best is not the stuff of best-selling paperbacks.
Our text reminds us that the good news is that our faithful God has not abandoned us. Just as he didn’t give up on his fickle and fragile people in those Old Testament times, he does not give up on us. We are not consigned to the “B” team of followers till we get all enthusiastic again. We still matter.
And perhaps we can also trust that our bruises can be healed, our flickering embers fanned into something like flame. Our God is not intent on snuffing out what feeble or uncertain faith we have. He is intent on caring for us as we are and intent on helping us become more than who we are.
The bruised reeds can regain vitality. The pale glowing embers can yet be transformed into an at least a flickering flame.