The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth” (Isaiah 40:3-4).

God is dealing with the rough places of our lives, whether they are within our hearts or outside of them. We have entered a new day in the dealings of God. God’s hand is on us, and no longer will those abnormal places be allowed to remain and to be seen as “normal.” A rough patch of skin on a body is abnormal. The patch can be a callus; something has irritated the skin until a thick layer of skin has formed. This is analogous (or a picture of) what can happen to us spiritually. If there is a situation or a person that causes us irritation, we must not pretend it is not happening. We must take it before the Lord and seek Him regarding the circumstances. Only He can guide us through it, leading us in “paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” Having a righteous or Kingdom response in such matters will keep us from developing spiritual calluses and subsequent insensitivity. We should especially guard against treating with disdain or with impatience those whom some may consider feeble or those with troublesome personalities. Jesus gave His life for every one of these, and He calls us to give of ourselves. If we do not, rough places form or are made worse.

Rough places on the body are healed with regular application of a salve; rough places in us are healed as we regularly apply the Word of God to our lives. As we absorb it, it transforms us. Psalm 107:19-20 reads, “then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Because of the Word of God, healing will spring forth, and we will remain supple and tender-hearted despite our daily trials. We will then look like the sons of God, mirroring His love and grace.

Determine that you will no longer accept what is in contradiction to the Word of the Lord. Sinful choices (which always result in much pain) are made because of rough places not yet made smooth. Are there places in your life that do not line up with God’s Word? The Lord is ready to make rough places smooth, and a simple decision on your part to live for God will start the process. It may cost you something to live for God, but the rewards start here and continue through eternity. He is worthy of your submission and of your complete obedience!

We are living in a time when what is in you will more and more be manifest for all to see. Let us allow the Lord to rid us of every wrinkle and to smooth out every rough place so that our lives reflect His life and His glory.