Isaiah 40:3-5 New Century Version (NCV) This is the voice of one who calls out: “Prepare in the desert the way for the Lord. Make a straight road in the dry lands for our God. Every valley should be raised up, and every mountain and hill should be made flat. The rough ground should be made level, and the rugged ground should be made smooth. Then the glory of the Lord will be shown, and all people together will see it. The Lord himself said these things.”
This past weekend my bride and I traveled to celebrate our 20th anniversary in what we believe to be the most beautiful place on earth…The Blue Ridge Mountains. I like to say it is the very thumbprint of God! We honeymooned in these hills and with the exception of one we have returned every year to spend time here together.
When one goes to the mountains, one cannot avoid driving through the mountains. Our particular destination requires that trek to involve a two-lane state road in Virginia, old Rt 100. We follow it approximately 20 miles from Interstate 81 across, and up into the higher mountains to our cottage outside the sleepy town of Hillsville. Rt 100 is many things but straight and level it is not. It winds around countless curves and rises and falls thousands of feet in the few miles we traverse. It is not an easy path, it would have been better if they would have straightened it and cut out some of the higher hills and filled in some of the lower valleys like they do when they build the interstates. But then they never asked me…
Today’s scripture choice makes me think of old Rt 100. But God isn’t speaking here of a highway of a topographical nature. These verses aren’t talking about lowering and raising natural hills, but rather about the spiritual landscape of our lives. When we yield our lives completely to the Lord’s will, when we thoroughly place our trust in His direction we allow Him to lower our peaks of pride and over emphasized self-confidence. Then He raises up through confidence in Him the valleys of our fear and doubt. In so doing He builds of our lives, roads that illustrate the ease made by His correction. When we follow His outstretched finger, the twists and turns and doubling back of our fickle-minded wanderings are straightened out, and He causes our lives to begin to resemble one with purpose. Only His influence on the rebuilding of the road is able to not only level and straighten, but also maintain and continually be about the important work of filling in the potholes. He is always working to make the rough road smoother. Why? Because our lives should be a highway. A road fit for The King. Our lives shouldn’t showcase anything more than it does the one who indwells and empowers it. People should be able to recognize by what they see, the One who did the work.
So what about those high places you like to see emphasized, what about those low places you wish didn’t exist? What about those twists and turns and switchbacks that make it look like your life lacks direction? Are you willing to let Him straighten and level out your way? It’ll mean you have to watch those peaks disappear…but so will the valleys. It’ll mean others will say the road looks too straight and lacks interest…but you’ll gain purpose. It is exciting in a whole new way! Maybe your road is already in process of rebuilding, fantastic! Showcase the architect and builder, utilize every opportunity to let others know how the changes have taken place. The work is the Lord’s…He said these things would happen if you were willing.
So now, inviting His road work in your life, go be awesome!