Father, how great You are. Your limitless power, perfect peace, unerring guidance, and grace and strength are always available to me.
Read Isaiah 40:1-11
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Oh Lord … You chart the path ahead of me … You both precede and follow me … I can never get away from Your presence” (Psa. 139:1,3,6,10,11; The Living Bible). What a great promise!
Life is sometimes described as a journey and there are many journeys in every life, even if we never travel far from home: journeys to stores, to visit family, to weddings or funerals, to flee or to fight wars. There are also many journeys described in Scripture, sometimes for specific individuals, sometimes, as here, for a whole people. As a consequence of their own disobedience, God had caused the people of Israel to be soundly defeated by the Babylonians and taken into exile. They had lived in Babylon, away from their homeland, for many decades. The Exile had been necessary, but Babylon was not the place where God really wanted his people to be. Now, at last, they could get back to where they were meant to be: home! This was certainly a message of comfort!
The journey may seem long and dangerous, crossing trackless deserts, deep ravines, difficult slopes and impossibly rugged ground. But because the journey is made in God’s presence, taking his people to the place where he wants them to be, it will become like an easy path. The apparently impassable mountains and obstacles will wither. But take note, Israel: if you depend on human rather than divine help to get there, that, too, will wither! And so will you, if you don’t heed God’s enduring Word. What makes the journey achievable, brings comfort, makes the news “good,” and makes it possible not to be afraid is the realization that “Here is your God!” (9c). Unless there is a clear recognition that both the means and the end of the journey are the sovereign, ruling Lord, who is also the gentle caring Shepherd, then the destination–not just the geographical location where God wants us to be, but the new life that he wants us to live–will never be reached.
What difficulties stand between where you are and where you believe God wants you to be? Describe them in similar terms to Israel’s journey home. How can you deal with them?
Loving Lord, how wonderful it is to know that I am not alone on this journey. You are with me through all the seasons of life.