Isa 57.14 “ Build up! Build up the road! Prepare the highway! Remove every obstacle from my people.
Each morning as part of my once a day exercise I walk a 2k circular route that is used for the town’s Park Run. It starts at the end of our garden and follows a lovely path through woods and includes a fairly steep climb. It used to be a tricky path to negotiate with overgrown bushes and even old tree-trunks blocking the path. Not now! The path is so well used since the lockdown that it has become a public highway. Lots of people have been involved in preparing a way through and now it’s used by scores of people.
I wonder if this verse is suggesting a similar approach in helping people find God’s highway. I have not met many people who, having had the gospel explained to them, have immediately believed. I have usually found that there has been a process going on in their lives and the Holy Spirit has been at work preparing a highway, which they eventually connect to and embrace. On one of Matt’s Tuesday sessions on Fruitfulness in the workplace, we heard the story of a retired man who prayed for God to give him an opportunity to bless the town where he lived. He felt the Holy Spirit direct him to pick up litter in the park and this resulted in some wonderful conversations about what was motivating him to do these acts of kindness. He was preparing a highway!
I have been looking for opportunities since hearing this. Yesterday I found one of those opportunities. As I was carrying out my busy programme of bike repairs, a Polish lady cycled up, and asked for help on her bike, which was making a clicking sound as she pedalled. I put the bike up on the stand, quickly found the problem, sorted it, sprayed some oil over the working parts and handed the bike back. She was thrilled that the problem was solved so quickly and asked the price. Normally a quick repair is worth at least £10 but I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to say “It’s free”. We then had a delightful conversation about trips to Poland. She said she would be back to put the bike in for a full service. I think there will be more opportunity for the good news next time she visits.
Why not try looking for opportunities for these acts of kindness as you go about your day. Those thoughtful actions will I am sure, be preparing the way for Jesus to eventually encounter those people. He wants our involvement in making a roadway and preparing a highway for Him to come.