He thought his career was over – and in a way, he was right. His former career was finished – but his calling was just beginning. He would be called to serve men in prison, just like himself. He would be called to serve a nation, through both his gifts and his brokenness.
He stated, “The real legacy of my life was my biggest failure – that I was an ex-convict. My great humiliation – being sent to prison – was the beginning of God’s greatest use of my life; He chose the one experience in which I could not glory for His glory.”
Prophesying of the love and compassion of Christ, Isaiah declared,
“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax will not quench” (42:3).
A shepherd would spend much time alone with his sheep in solitude. His reed pipe was a frail little instrument with two reeds bound together, hollowed out, and with holes on the side, enabling him to pass the hours cheerfully, playing various tunes. It was very easily broken, rendering it useless for playing. He could have easily made a new one, but the shepherd, having sentimental feelings about it, refused to discard it. Instead, he would pick up the bruised reed, bind up its broken pieces, and once again draw music from it.“A bruised reed He will not break.”
“The smoking flax” refers to a little clay lamp, with its wick floating in an hour’s supply of olive oil.
The oil has burned out, the wick smokes. Logic would say, “Throw it out, get a fresh wick; this one smokes, and is of no value.” But the owner does not agree, saying, “The old will do, all that is needed is oil, then the wick will burn as brightly as ever.” This is what God does, with His grace – He restores, when the light is almost out.
Your conscience says, ‘This is the way you are.’
Heaven answers, ‘No man need stay where he is.’
Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center
© 2013 Rev. David Arnold Ministries, All rights reserved.