DAILY READING: Isaiah 40:1-5
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Hills and Valleys Made Level
by Elaine Pierce
My son and his wife have spent the last year+ remodeling an older home. They gutted the interior, moved the kitchen, added a bathroom, and generally transformed the structure. However, one of the things that changed the appearance almost more than anything else was how they leveled the front yard. For many years, the house sat atop a small hill. Alex and his landscape team completely eliminated the hill. It involved lots of labor moving lots of dirt. Now when you drive up to their home, one of the first things you notice (if you had been there pre-remodel) is that the 'bump' is gone. The front yard is smooth and level.
In Isaiah 40, we read about how the people prepared for their king. They were told to 'prepare the way for 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 shall become level, the rugged places a plain.' In fact, people literally leveled the roads the king would travel. When the king comes, nothing should stand in his way. All the rough places smoothed out - the king is on his way!
When the king enters the city, everyone will see him. As verse 5 says, And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.'
In this Advent season, we anticipate Christmas. Yes, our king will arrive, but his entrance will be quiet - a little baby born in a stable, adored by simple shepherds. And yet - the angels will sing, and ultimately, everyone, all mankind, will know that he is Lord.
As we prepare for his coming, what 'leveling' might you need to do in your life? How can you 'prepare the way' for Jesus? Are there paths that need to be straightened? A relationship that needs to be restored? Forgiveness offered? A destructive habit that you can begin to change, with God's grace and mercy? Take some time this week to examine the bumps and rough spots. God is eager to meet you and he delights in spending time with you.
Lord, I have a lot of rough edges. As I prepare for your coming, I bring my sins to you, and I ask for your forgiveness. What joy it will be when we celebrate your coming, first as a baby, then as our savior and Lord! Thank you for making me whole. Amen.