The Smoothing Process

Connecting Points

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today’s Topic: Level Ground

Today’s Text: Isaiah 40:4-5Every valley shall 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 mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

It was tedious, but it had to be done. After all, the work they were doing was being done unto the Lord. Sure, they could have skimped, but eventually that would have caused problems. The easy fix is not always the right fix.

So while I tended to some plumbing issues, three of our crew took to their knees and starting filling in all the nail holes and imperfections in the floor with a fast-setting putty. After it was dry, they hand sanded every spot to make sure it was perfectly smooth. They did this in every room of the house. It took them almost two days to complete. They were tired and sore from all that bending and kneeling. But now the floor was ready to accept  the free-floating vinyl.

You see, every one of those flooring nails and screws, if not puttied, could loosen and raise up and cause damage to the flooring that would be laid over them. Every indentation in the wood would cause the flooring to become dented at that point. Every bump or low spot had to be made level, and it had to be a permanent fix or the floor would be damaged.

Our lives are like that. We are filled with rough spots and deep dents. Our character is rugged. The seemingly insurmountable mountains of circumstances drive us into valleys of pain and despair. There is more preparation to do before the fullness of God’s glory can be laid upon us.

This morning one of my facebook friends posted a quote from the devotional book entitled Streams in the Desert. “Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place except in God’s timing and in His way. A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach us lessons we desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in our lives. Commit the entire situation to Him and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present.”

God’s promises make that possible. Today the Word of the Lord comes through the prophet Isaiah with such a promise – Every valley shall 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 mankind together will see it.

Last Thursday afternoon at 4:30 we put the last piece of trim in place after laying all the flooring in the house we had prepared. Anyone who walks in will see only the finished product. They will not see any of the putty that was used. They will not see any of the dust that was created from the sanding and smoothing process. They will see no bumps or dents. They will only see the beauty of the finished product.

So it is with our lives. Every rough spot, rugged place, and mountain will be made smooth. Every valley will be raised up. And when God has finished His work in us, His glory is all that will be seen. So let God do His work. Let us cooperate with Him by rejecting any notion of pride in our prayers, our personal life, and our choices. Let Him smooth out all the rough spots of sin in us, and  lift us up out of the valleys of discouragement, depression, and despair. Let Him turn your rugged places into productive and pleasant plains. His glory is about to be revealed.

Pastor John

 

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