It had been a stormy week and I was praying. My heart was full of fears, dark thoughts and doubt. My faith felt rattled. I talked to God a long time and finally ran out of things to say. I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for. I ended my prayer with a question. “Lord, is there anything you want me to know?” I tried to listen. I was desperate for something. I waited… nothing.
Then… as if on a breath, this verse came to mind. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Matthew 12:20 NIV) The verse surprised me. My thoughts gathered around it. I thought about how you handle a candle whose wick is sputtering, about how you don’t grab it and shake it, but instead quietly approach, and gently blow.
A quiet approach. A gentle blowing. That is what I felt in response to the storm raging against my soul. In a moment I knew for certain that God was near and guarding my flickering faith. There was no, “what’s the matter with you” shaking. No harshness or rebuke. Just this impression, “I am here and I will keep your faith light burning. Don’t worry so.”
As I calmed down my thoughts drifted back over my week. I remembered some things that happened, and saw other ways God had been there cupping his hands around the light of my soul, shielding it from the snuffer. All that day I marveled over a God who would offer such undeserved kindness to such a weak and sputtering person, me. I still marvel. That’s who he is.
Who am I that you are mindful of me? Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family that you have brought me this far? Although I am less than the least of all God’s people: this grace was given me, to preach… the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Psalm 8:4, 1 Chronicles 17:16 NIV, Ephesians 3:8 NIV
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28 NIV