Listen to this devotional:
Isaiah 57:14 – And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people." (NIV)
They've been working on the main road next to our subdivision for over three years and they still haven't finished it. It's only about a mile long, but there are some nasty bends to negotiate, so the contractors are trying to straighten them out. They also had to widen the road for the volume of extra traffic, and that involved moving a lot of houses back about twenty yards from the original road. I don't know when they will finish it, but one day it will be completed and there will be no more traffic cones, gravel, or obstacles to drive through. It will be a joyous day for the commuters in the area when it is all completed.
Our church is also going through some major improvements and renovations. We're just getting started with a long process of modernizing the church for the twenty-first century. It will take a while to complete, and there will be some obstacles in the way ahead, but once everything is completed, the church will be ready for the next generation of ministers, leaders, and members to carry on Christ's work in this community. It will also be a joyous day when the scheduled work is actually completed.
I like the idea of God building up His people and removing all obstacles in our way. That gives me a lot of hope in these troubling times when the Christian Church appears to be losing ground and dividing itself. The cultural obstacles and the obstinate rocks of division will one day be removed by God, and Christ's work will be completed. That will be a joyous occasion — when all of God's people can freely proclaim Christ as their King and pledge their total allegiance to Him as their Lord.
Perhaps you are currently experiencing some obstacles in your own life. They might arise through illness or worry, trouble or heartbreak, disappointment or loneliness. Know this: God has enough power to remove those obstacles that are in the way of enabling us to fulfill our lives for Him. One day the road will be clear and we will move on freely, knowing that God is up ahead, preparing the way.
Prayer: Lord God, there are obstacles in all of our lives that prevent us from joyously experiencing life as it is meant to be. Whether those obstacles are self-created, made by others, or caused through troubling circumstances, we pray that You will graciously remove them from our lives. Be with us now and prepare the way ahead. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.