Reading: Isaiah 40: 3-11
Verse Three: “Make straight in the wilderness a highway for the Lord”.
Have you ever been lost, either physically or spiritually? Have you ever lost your way because of a storm? Maybe it was an actual storm – a good blizzard perhaps – that you can remember being lost in. Before long you lose your sense of direction and the safest thing to do is to hunker down and wait it out. At some point the snow and wind subside and, more often than not, the white-covered world that is revealed is beautiful to behold.
Sometimes our storm is not a physical one, but what we feel is very similar. The storm could be the loss of a loved one or of a job; it could be the loss of a special relationship or the loss of a home. It can be depression or anxiety or stress that rises up to an all-new level. Many things can rise up and swirl around us to the point of feeling lost and not able to see where to go or how to proceed forward. Often we want to hunker down at these times as well.
In these stormy times in our lives, Isaiah calls out to us as well: “In the desert, prepare the way for the Lord”. He invites us to open our hearts and minds for God’s presence and activity in our lives. In the midst of the storm, Isaiah encourages us to “Make straight in the wilderness a highway for the Lord”. He is encouraging us to allow what God desires to do: to lead us out of whatever we are in, out of our proverbial wilderness.
Our passage closes with these words: “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart”. It is both a beautiful image and a promise from God. God loves us dearly and so desires to let us know and feel that love. This day may we open ourselves up to His love and care, resting in our good shepherd, trusting Him to guide us through all that life brings our way this day and every day.