Isaiah 40:4 “Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley.”
In order to prepare the way of the Lord in our lives we need to remove the rocks; the hardened places that have left calluses and scars. We need to allow God to deal with those areas in order to refine our character. Areas that hinder us from being fully used for God’s purposes. Areas in which we have been weakened over and over. We need to allow the rough edges to be smooth and the highs and lows to be evened out.
God walked me down an unexpected path recently, and I am still trusting God for restored relationships and peace in my heart.
My Pastor was recently speaking about anger and rage and I thought, “Whew! Finally, this is a message that isn’t for me!”
However, as he simplified the definition of anger and rage as “an unreasonable response or reaction toward others”, it really hit home.
I had to deal my ‘unreasonable reactions’ because of anger that I had not dealt with in my life. I needed to surrender that emotion to Jesus.
Anger is a secondary emotion that stems from primary emotions like: hurt, a blocked goal, injustice, grief, guilt (false guilt), and fear. Anger or rage often stems from one of these emotions. I could pinpoint something, that has happened over the last several years, that evoked each of those emotions regarding my parents struggling marriage.
Breaking down why I was angry and surrendering each of those areas of my life to Jesus gave me such freedom. It also gave me accountability because I do not want to pick up those rocks again and carry those burdens. I laid my parents at Jesus’ feet and that is the best place for them to be.
I do not know God’s plan. I do not have a place to judge others as I do not know the whole story. God alone knows. As I wrestle through this journey, which really only began a few weeks ago, God led me to read the book of Job in the Bible. Not exactly uplifting and encouraging while going through a hard time emotionally, but, God has been using Job’s testimony to walk me through the process of letting go of control.
Job suffered a great deal of hurt, blocked goals, injustice, grief, guilt (false guilt), and fear which would lead anyone to react in anger. Job asks God, “Why?” Why did all these terrible things have to happen? God’s reply is perfect (of course) in that He responds with several chapters of questions back to Job.
Job 38: 4-5, 41 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?” This rhetorical questioning continues for about 3 chapters. As I read through it I was quickly humbled. I, like Job, do not know when the foundations of the earth were laid or how the animals get their food in the dessert. I do not need to understand because I am not God. He alone is in control. He alone is able. Job does reply to God’s questions in Job 40:4 “I am unworthy how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.”
A while ago there was a message at church that inspired me to take a pile of rocks and write on them, an area of my life that needed to be laid at the feet of Jesus; areas I needed to surrender. This physical act helped me emotionally let go and surrender those areas to God. I know I cannot handle my life on my own and I need the help of my Savior. The only way to prepare the way for the Lord in our lives is to surrender everything. Surrender the big stuff, as well as the day-to day details. Lay these things down at Jesus feet and make an altar. LEAVE them there and allow God to do a work in your heart as He is doing in mine.
Remember He created the very foundations of the earth and He alone knows the depths of our hearts to recreate a pure and humble heart in each of us.
1. Memorize Isaiah 40:4
2. What is a rock, on the rough ground of your life, that needs to be moved? Ask God for wisdom as to how this rock is to be moved.
3. Gather a pile of rocks and complete the exercise mentioned above. What is an area, or areas, that you need to let go of; surrendering them at Jesus’ feet?