Every valley shall be exaltedIsaiah 40:4-5
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Help. It’s the one central and universal need of every person in the valley, the crooked place and the rough road. And right now, when our world has stopped and is hurting in so many ways, help is the central and universal need of us all….
Help us to have courage.
Help us to make today’s ‘new normal’ work.
Help us to breathe.
And that’s who He is. Our Help. When He says that every valley will be exalted, He isn’t joking. That pit in your stomach? The low place in your life – the one you swore you’d never sink to? He’s making it new. He’s bringing it high. His story – your story – hasn’t finished yet.
That mountain before you? The one which has your back against a wall, with no possible way out? Mountains can’t be hidden from others – or from ourselves. They’re those issues – those life seasons – that are glaringly obvious to those around us and which are insurmountable, for a time…
There’s no hiding from these mountains. But – He is the way out. He has the way out. He is our help. Can you feel it? Right on the edges, it’s waiting there for the right moment, when everything’s aligned and the time is just right. That mountain, that hill will be brought low. He promised it. He never breaks His promises. And He’s not about to start breaking them now.
The crooked and messy and rough seasons? When we find ourselves working so hard, just to try and make it ‘look’ less messy? He’s got them too. He’s not afraid of or embarrassed by our messiness, the roughness and crooked paths. That’s what we bring to the table – embarrassment, facade, shame. We can leave it at the door, friend. Because if the Creator of the universe isn’t embarrassed, why should we?
Reality is, those who bark loudest about the way things ‘should’ look, ‘should’ feel, ‘should’ be? Are generally the ones trying hardest to keep their season look less crooked, less rough, more perfect. And rather than our scoff or our rolling eyes or worse – our bowing to their demands – perhaps it’s our grace they need most? Our understanding?
Perhaps that’s how we can best help those in our lives who are struggling. Because those whose places are crooked and whose facade is thickest, they’re often the ones in the most amount of pain. Because denial and facade don’t fix the pain, they push it deeper.
God’s glory – His beauty, strength, abundance. His help is revealed in the crooked, messy, rough and embarrassing times. The mountain place and the valley. And we all help each other by not hiding behind a facade and pretending that we’ve got it all together.
And we all help ourselves, by not subscribing to the shame and embarrassment – the facade that only pushes it deeper. It’s God’s help, our help toward one another and our help toward ourselves that will get us through this – and every – season.