As part of their training for geriatric care, local nursing students have to put on special shoes that throw off their sense of balance and make walking across a mock apartment slow and dangerous work.
I’ve been in that lab! While wearing those crazy shoes you have to carefully navigate rugs, clothes, pillows, or anything on the floor—and steps, doors, or furniture suddenly become death traps!
Maybe you live with that reality every day, but for most of the nurses in training, wearing shoes that turn an ordinary apartment into an obstacle course gives them a whole new way of seeing the world.
Isaiah 40 is like that, only in reverse. The sins and violence that made an obstacle course and death trap of our ordinary lives will be undone; the ravages of age and drought will be reversed. Cries of outrage and judgment are transposed to songs of comfort and peace. What was an uneven, treacherous path of sorrow becomes a highway, flat and plain.
Kick off your orthopedics and climb into the driver’s seat of a smooth sports car on a level track: your God is coming. His glory will be revealed. You will see God at work to bring you home. And you will never fear an uneven path again.
Isaiah 40:1-5 (ESV)
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Prepare my heart, O Lord, for your coming.
Send your Spirit to level the rough path.
Remove all the obstacles that distract
and all the sins that ensnare.
Put my feet again on the way of life.
Forgive, restore, humble, and build up.
Send me your comfort, that I may be ready
for your presence.