Do you have a life verse? Is there a Bible verse that you return to time and time again?
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them, and make the rough places smooth” (Isaiah 42:16a NIV).
Have you ever come across a Bible verse that stopped you in your tracks? I have, and the verse was Isaiah 42:16. It didn’t just stop me in my tracks, that scripture changed the course of my journey.
It wasn’t just about the words hitting their mark. It was also about the way God revealed those words to me. During one of my most desperate hours, God orchestrated a fascinating chain of events to lead me to that scripture. You will have to read the story, but suffice it to say, it was the most powerful God-moment of my life. The story appears in Part 5, and although the story is titled “Rough Places Smooth,” it’s not the impetus for the book title. That’s another story, and it’s quite a doozy..
“From the moment I quit work, the messages began to pile up. “Anita, you must write a book.” From family to friends, I heard the same message. My old friend Ricky even challenged me, “You need to tell your story.”
I smiled appreciatively, but essentially ignored these urges. I guess I wasn’t ready.
I did begin journaling some, sharing some stories with my close friends. With every story, Tami remarked, “Anita, when are you going to share this with more people?”
As with most of God’s plans, they present themselves in surprising ways.*”
“One night, I woke in the wee hours, my mind on high alert. Unable to fall back asleep, I lay there in the quiet, listening to Eric’s steady breaths. It was then that I heard the quiet voice, soft yet clear. “You will write about the moments, all the moments that were hard and you triumphed because of Me. You will write about my promise.”
The voice was so clear, the words so unexpected. There was no doubt about the promise. It was Isaiah 42:16.
Still, I confess that I paused, wondering, “Did I really hear that?” But I quickly dismissed those doubts. I knew the message was from God, and He was blessing this new season of my life with an unexpected gift. Suddenly, the title was there, in my mind, crystal clear. The book will be called, “Rough Places Smooth.” It will be about the moments in my journey through blindness.”*
Like always, it ultimately goes back to God. God had a plan for this that I didn’t see in the beginning. I don’t always pay attention to where He is leading. Sometimes the nudges work, but every so often, He has to give me a push. He wwoke me up in the middle of the night. Talk about a push!
It makes me smile at myself now, but I remember thinking after I could catch my breath, “Did I really hear that? Did I imagine that?” Isn’t that such a human response? At least I recovered quickly and got with the program! I do recall taking a deep breath and answering my own question. “No, I didn’t imagine that. That was The Lord speaking, and I‘d better be listening.”
Well, I did hear The Lord that night, and I did listen to His instruction. I got busy writing stories, and that collection of stories has now become a book!
It is such a marvelous gift to see the book in print, to lay my hands on its beautiful cover, and just give thanks to The Lord for helping me finish this work that He called me to complete. Not only is it a blessing to see the finished product, but it was also such a blessing to write it., for in the writing came healing and perspective. As my fingers found the keyboard again and again, I was continually reminded of God‘s faithfulness in the past and His promise for the future. I pray that the words of this book will both inspire and encourage you as you walk your own journey through whatever hard circumstances you may face. Remember, God can, and He will, make our rough places smooth.
O Dear Lord, You are good, and Your steadfast love endures forever. You are so patient with us, even when we don’t listen, even when we question Your leading. You love us beyond measure, and You keep reaching out to gently draw us home to You. Lord, let us listen. Let us hear Your still, small voice that comes in nudges and whispers. Let us accept Your divine appointments, for when we heed Your call, we do Your good work and receive Your marvelous blessings.
In the Marvelous Name of Jesus, we give thanks and pray,
* Excerpts from the story ”Unexpected Gift” from Chapter 17 in “Rough Places Smooth: Moments In A Journey Through Blindness” by Anita Peden Sherer.
© 2022 by Anita Peden Sherer
All Rights Reserved.
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