A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." -Isaiah 40:3 (NIV)
See the Sovereign Lord comes with power...he tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers his lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. -Isaiah 40:10-11 (NIV)
As I was coming back from our Jurisdictional Conference in North Carolina on Saturday, traffic on the interstate came to a halt. Apparently someone had blown a tire and what was left of the tire was lying in the middle of the road. A state worker removed the debris and I was able to continue my journey home.
The suggested scripture readings for today describe a day when God's people will be able to return home from exile. Any obstacles in the way will be removed, just like that shredded tire was removed from the interstate on Saturday.
Not only will the pathway be cleared, but Isaiah promises that the Lord won't simply wait on us to come to Him, but will come to us as a shepherd and gather His lambs in His arms, carrying them close to His heart, and gently leading them home.
When I see things like what happened in Aurora, Colorado over the weekend, I realize that we are not yet home. There are still many obstacles in the road. But Isaiah promises that the word of our God endures forever and there will come a day when all obstacles will be removed. I am mindful that God would welcome my help in doing what I can to remove these obstacles so that the Good Shepherd can gather all His lambs in His arms and carry them close to His heart.
May God grant you the grace to help remove any obstacles that prevent others from knowing the great love of God today. Join me in praying for the victims, their families, the suspect, and his family in Aurora and join me in praying that the world would know the loving embrace of the Good Shepherd.
If you're interested in reading through the Bible in a year, read Isaiah 43-45 and 1 Peter 4 for tomorrow.