Preparing a Road for the Lord
A voice cries out, “Prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord! Clear the way in the desert for our God! Fill every valley; level every mountain.” Isaiah 40:3-4
When urging people to prepare themselves for the Lord’s coming, John the Baptist quoted this passage from Isaiah. How can we clear the way in the desert of our hearts for the loving Prince of Peace? Isaiah tells us to fill every valley and level every mountain.
What are the valleys within ourselves that need to be filled in—in other words, built up? For some of us, the low places may be actual depression. We owe it to ourselves to seek the physical and psychological treatment and spiritual sustenance that can lift an oppressive sense of hopelessness. Some of our valleys might be a tendency toward negativity, a critical nature that we’ve developed in the misguided hope that it would ward off disappointment. Maybe it’s an underlying voice in our heads that tells us we’re nobodies, we’re not good enough. Maybe its fear. Or an emptiness that we’ve tried to fill with the shifting sand of more things, external approval, busy-ness.
On the other hand, we may need to trim down mountains of pride, places within us where we are swollen with a sense of our own importance, arrogance, or self-centeredness. It might be a relentless focus on our own goals to the exclusion of the needs of others, or mental blinders to the big picture and what God may be calling us to do. It might be self-righteous judgment of others from our imagined mountaintops of intellectual or spiritual superiority.
The landscape of each heart is unique. We are the only ones who can discern what roadblocks stand between our deepest selves and the coming of the Lord. Let’s take some time today to see what those roadblocks are and how, with God’s help, we can clear the path.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me clear the pathway to my heart.
Reflection for Sharing: What mountains within you need to be leveled? What valleys need to be built up? What can you do today to begin to address the bumps in your spiritual path?