(From the heart of Michelle Foelber)
I always wished I could have been in on the conversation in Heaven just before Jesus entered the world.What did the Father and the Son whisper as they prepared the greatest rescue the world could ever imagine? Were there tears at the parting? Were they rubbing their hands in excitement for the mystery that only they knew? Since the beginning of time they had been preparing for this moment.
This time of year we too get a chance to take a glimpse into this holy moment and prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.
Read Isaiah 40:3-5.
The world was a wilderness with a need for a path to God. Do we feel wilderness in our hearts or see it on the news? Do we know what it is like to feel barren, empty, and desperate for the Father? No matter how we feel this Advent season, “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and ill made low” (verse 4).
As we think to the Lord’s coming, perhaps there are some mountains we need to make low in order to turn our gaze on the Father. Are there things in our lives that vie for our attention, distracting us from what the season is truly about? Maybe the mountains of entertainment, or internet, or food, or gossip, or commercialization stand in our way from seeing or hearing the Lord’s footsteps on the path of our hearts. He is whispering, but we are too busy to notice.
Or perhaps we are in a valley that needs to be lifted up. We have hit a low part in our walk, or have been hit by senseless tragedy, or are grieving a loss. We need God’s touch to help us even feel on level ground. We need Him to lift our eyes to even see that there is joy.
Spend some time before the Lord asking Him for what you need this season to feel that you can walk on that straight highway. Do you need to repent and revive your soul? Do you need to cut back the clutter of the holidays and just rest in His presence? Why does it even matter? As we prepare our hearts for the beautiful coming of the Messiah, Isaiah 35 shows us what is possible.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy…they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God” (verses 1-2).
It goes on to say that our hands will be strengthened. Our knees will be steadied. Our heart will not fear. The eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will hear. The lame will leap like a deer and the mute will shout! “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness…they will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (verses 8 and 10).
Already my heart feels steadied. Having prepared my heart, my feet dance to the glorious tune the angels sang as they announced the arrival of the King. In that moment of gladness, I realize I get a glimpse into the moment before Jesus put on flesh as the Father and Jesus joyfully set out on the path before them.
May His presence be what we seek this season.