Broken but Not Destroyed

Read: Isaiah 42:1-9

A bruised reed he will not break. (v. 3)

A woman brought a shattered wooden table top to a master carpenter. A tornado had leveled her home, and this cracked and fragmented table top was all that was left of a dining room set that she had received from her grandmother. She had been close to her grandmother, and the memories they had made around this table made it priceless to her. She didn’t want the carpenter to scrap the slab of wood and start over with a new table. She wanted him to gently glue the shards back together, carefully adding replacement chips and wedges where needed. She wanted him to stain and sand the tabletop, until the seams of fused wood were barely visible.

Maybe this is a little like what Isaiah meant when he said that the Lord’s chosen servant would not break a bruised reed. God may let bad things happen to us, but he is not out to get us. It’s why Paul can say that he is “afflicted in every way, but not crushed . . . struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9). If you are going through a difficult patch in your life, or someone you know is suffering, take heart with Isaiah’s description of the way that Jesus acts toward us. Even when we are broken, God does not totally destroy us. Ultimately, nothing can separate us from the love of God (see Rom. 8:35-39). Like the master carpenter, God wants to carefully put us back together, to heal us.

Prayer: Lord, have mercy on us in our brokenness.

About the Author

Steven Rodriguez lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife and four children.