God helps us to overcome obstacles and can clear the way ahead in our lives, so that we may serve Him fully and faithfully. A short reflection on Isaiah 57 v 14.
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They’ve been working on the main road next to my 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 amount of extra traffic, so 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 my 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 21st 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.
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."
I like the idea of God building up His people and removing all obstacles in their 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 you to fulfill your life for Him. One day the road will be clear and you will move on freely, knowing that God is up ahead of you, 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.
John Stuart is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to send him some feedback on this devotional, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.