by Joni Eareckson Tada
"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice..." Isaiah 42:3
以赛亚书 42:3 压伤的芦苇，他不折断；将残的灯火，他不吹灭。他凭真实将公理传开。
God bends us but never breaks us. This means that if I love God, suffering does not ultimately matter. Christ in me is what matters. Pain does not cease to be pain, but I can "rejoice in suffering" (Romans 5:5) because the power of God in my life is greater than suffering's vice-grip can ever be. It reminds me of this poem by an anonymous author.
When God wants to drill训练 a man, and thrill a man and skill a man,
When God wants to mold塑造 a man to play the noblest高贵的 part,
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man
That all the world should be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways:
How He ruthlessly无情的 perfects完善 whom He royally elects;
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him into shapes and forms of clay
Which only God can understand,
While man's tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands;
Yet God bends but never breaks when man's good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with mighty power infuses him,
With every act induced him to try His splendor out,
God knows what He's about.
As Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limits; he'll always be there to help you come through it." In other words, a bruised reed He will not break.
And so, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4:).
Your power in my life, God, is greater than suffering's grip can ever be. Help me to believe that. Help me to live it.
Joni and Friends