December 20, 2016
“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked places straight, and the rough places smooth… I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight.” (Isaiah 40:4; 42:16)
The following is from a tribute given by one of Dick Woodward’s granddaughters, Jessey, at his Memorial Celebration…
“I’d like to share an email I got from my grandfather when I was 20:
‘I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you. I’m supposed to be something of a wordsmith, but words fail me as I try to find words that adequately express the love your grandmother and I have for you. How I would love to sit down with you and hear what our Father God is making you know about your future.’
And then his famous closing line: ‘Great Gobs of Agape, Your Granddaddy.’
My whole life he’s been loving me just like that – over the top kind of love that’s for me exactly as I am at that moment. He loved me and it had nothing to do with what I’d done or who I was becoming. He just loved me like crazy.
And with that he had this huge excitement for my future which shined like a light in the dark. That light helped me to climb mountains and do hard things that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
As I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve realized – isn’t that just like Jesus? He loves us with great gobs of agape just as we are right now, and He shines in our lives, and with His light we climb God-sized mountains.”
Jessey Woodward Davenport, 15 March 2014
July 6, 2012
“Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Isaiah 40: 4-5)
The essence of Isaiah’s great sermon is that when you build a highway you do four things: you level mountains, you fill valleys, you straighten crooked places, and you smooth out rough places.
Isaiah preached that God was coming into our world and when He did He was going to travel on the highway of the life of His Son. In that life the mountains of pride would be leveled, the empty spaces would be one hundred percent filled with the Holy Spirit, the crooked ways of sin would be perfectly straight and His rough places would be made smooth by the way He responded to them.
Just before Jesus parted with His apostles He told them that in the same way the Father sent Him into the world He was sending them into the world. If His life was to be a highway on which God traveled into this world, our life is also to be a highway for God. I challenge you to ask God to make your life into a highway for Him to travel into this world.
If you pray that prayer when God’s bulldozers start leveling your mountains of pride, His Holy Spirit fills your empty spaces and straightens out your crooked ways of sin and then gives you the grace to smooth out the rough challenges that come into your life.
While all that is happening you can write “Caution: God at work” across your life.
I dare you to have the courage to pray this prayer.