During the Christmas and Thanksgiving season we drive a lot. Trips to see kids and grand kids ... trips for shopping ... trips to missional activities (like Christmas Eve at Tent City, NOON to 2pm). We are going, going, going!
In the busyness this year, take a look at the roads you travel. Because this time of year is filled with bumps and potholes. When we lived in Louisiana we would travel Interstate 20 from Vicksburg through Birmingham, Atlanta (to I-85) and to Greenvile all the way to Charlotte. We have a few family stories about that trip. It was a long haul, filled with lots of bumps and potholes. But we made the trip to see our family in Charlotte. We had laughs, arguments, tears and a few memorable happenings. There were ups and downs, curves and hills ... and through it all we did life.
When Isaiah wrote chapter 40 of his prophecy, he knew we all had bumps and potholes in the road of life. Hezekiah (chapter 39) had been healed of a great illness and had been granted 15 years of life by God. Hezekiah was feeling so blessed that when envoys from Babylon came bearing gifts he gave then the 'top secret' tour of all that was in the temple. God was not pleased and told Hezekiah that all of the 'stuff' he was so proud of would be hauled off to Babylon, along with some of his descendants. But as a comfort to the people, Isaiah writes his famous prophecy about God's ultimate deliverance of the people saying, "A voice of one calling 'in the desert prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low. The rough ground will become level, the rugged places a plain. For the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind will see it!" (Isaiah 40:3-5).
I hope that we, this Christmas season, will be a voice calling in our 'wilderness' saying, 'prepare the way for the Lord.' Get ready. God has a good plan for you. God will lift you up out of the valleys and potholes you have fallen into. God will level you out and bring you down to reality when you get too proud, to high on yourself and too important. God will allow life and gentle sanding to smooth out the rough spots. When you face those rugged places God will grade them down by giving you the perspective of what is really important. God can do these great things and keep these promises if only you would look, listen, see and hear!
One Thanksgiving I sat with a family at the Celebrate Recovery dinner. It was the first time in 3 years that this particular family had been able to have a meal together. That is the leveling, smoothing and lifting up the God does through ministries like Celebrate Recovery. It happens because God uses people like you and me to make this prophecy a reality. In a small way, God's glory was revealed and God's deliverance was highlighted. And THAT is a blessing you should want to be part of! AMEN ... Randy