The freeway that connects LA and Las Vegas is just a stone’s throw from my home. Over the past couple years, a rehabilitation project has been taking place to enable the tens of thousands of cars and trucks that use it each day to pass smoothly and unhampered through the Cajon Pass. But that is not the case now. Traffic, at times, is a nightmare. There is no other way to describe it. Lanes have been shifted this way and that to allow for old, worn-out pavement to be replaced. Hills have been removed to make way for extra lanes and bridges have been constructed to make the road more level. Each step of the way has been difficult, time consuming, and costly.
Although at the moment, it seems too much to hope for, when all is said and done it is going to be a beautiful thing. The road will be wide and spacious, and smooth to travel.
A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the LORD; construct in the desert a road for our God. Every valley must be elevated, and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley. The splendor of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it at the same time. For the LORD has decreed it.”
Isaiah 40: 3-5 above describes a similar environment our community is experiencing with the freeway construction project. Raising valleys and leveling mountains is no small task, but it must be accomplished. The view of the Lord’s splendor is at stake.
When I read this portion of scripture, it always makes me consider how I am living my life. Am I a person who prepares a way for others to see all the majesty God possesses, or am I a hindrance, blocking their view of an invincible God? Do my professions of faith match up with my actions? Do I trust He knows best? Do I wait for His timing? Am I an example of His grace? Or, do I dig deep valleys of hopelessness as I worry and fret, hanging on to the superstition that perhaps God will not show up this time? Maybe it’s mountain building I do, heaping up requirements or expectations so high the climb would be unattainable. Are my actions such that they add to the view of God, or detract?
Isaiah’s words ring in my head, “Clear the way! Construct a road for our Lord that is level and wide and straight, perfect for seeing God’s glory.” The translation? Don’t be a distraction. If fact, make it as easy as you can for others to see God by clearing the way.
Why is it so important to make the way smooth? The verses right before the road building instructions in Isaiah 40 answers our question.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Isaiah 40:1 NET
It is not for the awesomeness that God’s splendor is, although it is breathtaking. It is for comfort, and a clear view of God will do just that—bring ease and security. To cause someone to feel less worried, upset, frightened, and give strength and hope is very good indeed. I want to be part of that road crew that makes it happen. A smooth road is a beautiful thing.
“Prepare the way for the people! Build it! Build the roadway!
Remove the stones!
Lift a signal flag for the nations!”
Isaiah 62:10 NET