I'm my own worst critic. Anybody who knows me well has probably seen this in action in one way or another.
A lot of times in an effort to make myself better, I often just cause myself pain, and I never really stop myself and say, "Hey, you're good enough."
Late last week, while I was at a small talk with a group of young Catholic women, we took some time to ponder a verse of Scripture that I wanted to share with all of you.
It really made me think about my tendency toward beating myself up, and why I really need to stop.
"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud,
nor will any one hear his voice in the streets;
he will not break a bruised reed
or quench a smoldering wick,
till he brings justice to victory;
and in his name will the Gentiles hope."
Matthew 12: 18-21
What sticks out to me in this bit, as you may have noticed from the title of this post, is the bit about the bruised reed and the smoldering wick.
We all have things about ourselves that we don't like, things that we would like to change. I can see my faith being one of those things; I'd like to be stronger in my faith, and rely heavily on God to guide my life.
But my faith is very weak at times, and will take time to grow stronger. Still, living in a space and time when I'm so use to experiencing instant gratification, it's so disheartening when I slip up or stagger in my faith journey. This often makes me want to quit trying to be any better, and just wallow in my sin.
I have a small prayer altar in my room, and I have two candles on that altar. One of them is on it's last legs, and will only give off the tiniest bit of light if I light it. Our faith can be like that at times. We can be on our last legs, only giving off a faint glow of the truly radiant God we are called to love and serve.
Now, me being the impatient person that I am, my first inclination was to throw this candle out. It isn't doing much, so why keep it at all? Sounds very similar to how I can be with my spiritual life.
But God is not like this. God picks up our broken hearts, like smoldering wicks, and says to us, "No, I will not give up on you, My dear child. Not while there is still even the faintest bit of hope in you."
O what a good and gracious God we have! What a pure and gentle Savior, to look upon our brokenness and still see hope!
You and I are the servants God has chosen, the souls He remains pleased with, even when our faith is faint, or light dim.
Just with the knowledge that God can delight in such a little flame, we have an incredible message to preach! Not every one of us is meant to call out into the streets and make our voices heard to many, for some simply need to see even the smallest glow to spark something within them.
God does not give up hope in us, so we shouldn't give up hope in ourselves.
The Lord can still use us to do great things, even if we have so little of ourselves to offer Him. I encourage each and everyone of you to give Him your light, even if it is the tiniest flame you've ever seen.
There's a lot of Precious Lord can do with you, my dear friends.