Now that she had contact with the King, she read the King’s word with new eyes. It became personal.
He promised “I myself will prepare your way, levelling mountains and hills. I will break down bronze gates and smash their iron bars.” Isaiah 45:2
On a hot summer evening in January, Joanna stopped for the night at her Aunt’s farm, on her way back home from her Gran’s 90th birthday in Northland.
After tea they stood on the balcony overlooking the farmland of the King Country, where the rolling hills sprawled out towards Otorohanga and the old volcanic cone of Mount Kakepuku.
The land had its secret places for underneath the hills were caves that the Maori called ‘tomo’. As they watched the early evening sun fold into the land, they talked of the farm.
“You see that hill over there?” Her aunt, the one who had read the bed time stories about the King to her as a child, pointed to a flat hill. “We weren’t able to make the track over it, or around it, so we levelled the hill top.”
Joanna remembered what the King promised and was thoughtful.
Later, she came into His presence. “You saw it, didn’t you?” the King asked.
“Yes,” she replied, “I noticed the sign. I am glad that you are going before me, preparing my way, levelling hills. Where do I go from here?” she asked.
The King replied; “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:9
Then he gave her directions.
“Set up road signs; put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway, the road that you take.
Return, O Virgin Israel, return to the town you left.
How long will you wander, faithless daughter?
The LORD will create a new thing on earth—
a woman will encircle a man.” Jeremiah 31:21-22
His directions were mysterious as the road. What did He mean by “return to the town she had left?” Was it Sydney, Wanganui or even Napier? What was meant by the words “a woman will circle a man?” Baffled, she decided she would set up signs, take note of road, and figure the rest out later.
Driving home through the King country, she thought about what the King had said. He was telling her something ahead of time – something she had to watch for. She had to take note of the highway. Signs could be seen on that road, signs that the King needed her to be alert to and take notice of. The other roads had no signs.
She wondered if she would travel the road alone.
“Will Hugh find the highway?” she asked.
“The road is narrow and difficult to find. Only those that seek the Kingdom of God find it” the Lord answered.
A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8
Joanna was glad at the King’s promise that she would no longer lose her way, for she had been a fool and gone astray. She had not even been able to see the road. The King promised her that she would find others on the road who would guide her at different places. She was glad she would no longer be traveling the road alone.
“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:20-21