Each week, One Community Church presents the inspirational words of one of its partners in the form of a devotional. This week’s devotional was written by Amanda Martin.The Word:
Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken” Isaiah 40:4-5 (NASB)

The Story:
For the past several months, I have worked at a prison, teaching female inmates and preparing them for the GED. One of the students I have had from the beginning of my time there is being released. I asked her what she wanted me to include in my goodbye message to her. The vision and depth of her reply moved me. She said she would really like it if I would give her some scripture to read when she was released from incarceration. She elaborated and said “…I know [life] is a spiritual warfare. There are going to be some trials and tribulations that God is going to bless me through, like Job. I want some scriptures to help me through. ” I was shocked to hear her say this because when we first met, she had no desire to live a godly life. In just a few months, I’ve seen her dedicate her life to Christ and overcome many obstacles. The emotional, intellectual, and most importantly, spiritual maturity that she was able to attain in such a desolate place is truly a testament to God’s power in her life once she surrendered herself to Him.

The Reflection:
What are the rough and rugged places in your life? Are you turning to the Lord to help raise you out of your valley? What scriptures are you equipped with so that you can be prepared for life’s troubles?

The Application:
Landscape design is defined as “the art, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of the land.” This week, commit yourself to trusting God’s design, seeking His word and storing it in your heart to make it through life’s valleys and rugged places.

The Prayer:
Lord, help us remember that you have the master plan and there are going to be some mountains and rough ground in our lives. We know you are faithful and strong enough to bring us through anything. Amen.