Have you seen movies where someone has been lost in a desert? They wander around, many times in circles, unfamiliar with the terrain. The end result is often not pleasant. On the other end of the spectrum are the Bedouins who have traveled through the arid land for thousands of years following the same routes. They know how to navigate the desert and are at home in one of the harshest environments on earth. They have a straight path ingrained in their minds.
Isaiah 40:3-5 speaks to us about the desert of our lives and how we can stay focused to make our way through it. “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” When we are in the wilderness, wasteland or desert of our lives, we have one vital task to complete: prepare the way for the Lord and make a straight path for God to work in our lives. How do we do this? We expose our inadequacy to navigate the unknown and ask God to lead us through. We fall face down in the dust and sand and acknowledge we are nothing without him. We humble our hearts and he takes our hand and leads us along a direct path.
Travelers in the desert will spot an oasis in the distance and keep their focus on it until they reach the peaceful haven where they can drink refreshing water and rest in the shade of towering palms. We need to have the same focus and keep our eyes on God in order to reach the peace and comfort of his oasis in our desert.
God promises in verses 4-5 to make our journey easy if we keep him in our sights. “Every valley will be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all the people will see it together.”
God will raise you up from the desolate valley you’re walking through and will demolish the imposing mountains and hills in your way. The path you’re traveling will become smooth without obstacles to trip you up. The only thing you have to do is keep your eyes on the oasis–God. When we allow our attention to wander we become lost in the desert.
What desert are you wandering about in aimlessly? Spot the place of peace on the horizon, focus on God, and you will find rest.
[Image via Wikimedia]