The Crooked Places made Straight
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. -Luke 3:5
I’ve always loved that verse. In fact, I’ve often quoted it while I prayed, asking God to “make the crooked places straight.” Then, one day, God provided profound insight into that verse. It’s pretty simple, but the truth of it amazed me.
I’ve always thought of that verse as being something God was doing for us. I always thought that if I prayed and asked Him to make the crooked places straight, He would do it (if it was His will). Then, one day, the profound truth of His Word reached a deeper layer within me, and I realized something:
The more time I spend in His Word, the more of His truth is revealed within me, and the more clearly I understand what I’m supposed to do.
Say, for example, there’s an obstacle in front of me. Let’s just say that there’s a person at work, my boss, who does not like me at all. I wonder what I’m supposed to do. Realizing that I can’t make this person like me, I stop, pray, and ask God to handle it. I expect Him to “make the crooked places straight for me.” In simple terms, I expect God to make the person like me. Wouldn’t that be simple? Here’s a little summary of my logic: I have a problem, I Fed-ex or email my prayer request to God, and then I just sit back and wait for God to handle it. I laugh a little at that now because I have learned that God wants us to actively participate with Him through the process. You see, when we actually spend time with Him, we get to know Him better. A relationship with God is strengthened and deepened like any other relationship is strengthened and deepened: by two willing hearts actively participating in the process.
First and foremost, God wants to woo us back to His Word. Remember that He is the Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.- John 1:1
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. -John 1:14
Here’s what happened to me. As I spent more and more time in His Word, I started to learn that the way to handle my enemies is to love them through Christ. I learned more about having a servant-like heart. I learned about not holding grudges and forgiving those who sin against me. I learned how to wear my armor. I learned about the fruits of the Spirit. I also learned about humility. As a result of spending time in His Word, I felt changed. Even though my boss was mean and rude, I was finding that I didn’t despise him like I thought I did. Even though my boss didn’t seem to appreciate all I did for him, I learned to work as unto the Lord, not man. As a result, I kept on working with a good attitude. Eventually, my boss’ attitude towards me lightened up a bit. After all, it’s hard to continue to be horrible to someone when that someone is continually being nice to you.
One day I realized that by spending time in His Word, His wisdom and insight begins to influence my thoughts, and my actions. Day by day, as a result of soaking in His Word, nuggets of truth were revealed to me. His truth illuminated light upon the path that I should walk. Then it hit me: His light made the crooked places straight!
You see, whenever I thought of Luke 3:5, I always visualized God’s hands just magically coming down and physically straightening out a crooked road in front of me. Then, God showed me that by spending time in His Word, He will reveal insight and wisdom to me, and I, in turn, will see the straight line that I should walk, amid the curves, amid the dark, amid the mud, amid the mean bosses, amid the hardships, regardless of what is before me, I will walk in His truth, one step at a time. The truth is what makes the crooked/confused places straight in my mind!
I’ll restate what I said early because it will probably sink in a little deeper now:
The more time I spend in His Word, the more of His truth is revealed within me, and the more clearly I understand what I’m supposed to do. That’s how He makes the crooked places straight. Sure, He’s still in the miracle business. He can physically remove an obstacle from before you with the nudge of His index finger, and He does do that sometimes. He’s God. He can do anything! But I have found that more often than not, God wants me to actively participate in trusting Him to make the crooked places straight, and I can pretty much expect to be a part of the process.
It is my pursuit of a deeper faith that causes me to seek His face in His Word. As a deer pants for water so my soul longs for His truth, which can only be found in His Word. Each sip of the Savior that I take quenches my parched soul. He is the Living Water that rejuvenates me. Each gulp of God that I take helps make the crooked places straight. For the road of life can seem long and dusty and full of curves, but now I know that His Word truly is a light for my path!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
The Warrior Mom Ministry was founded by Kristina Seymour, author of The Warrior Mom Handbook – Equipping Women through the Word, a Bible study for moms who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. Kristina has learned that moms can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about The Warrior Mom Handbook, the Warrior Mom Ministry, and to sign up for daily encouragement, visit, www.warriormoms.net.
Originally published Tuesday, 07 January 2014.