But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a god who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. [Isaiah 26:7 (NLT)]

Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble. [Jeremiah 31:9a (NLT)]

While hiking on one of our favorite mountain trails last month, my husband noted how much easier it was to hike it during the winter. As I stumbled over an exposed root and then tripped on a rock, I had to agree. When covered with snow, I hadn’t realized how uneven its terrain and how rough the trail actually was. Even while wearing our rather cumbersome snowshoes, the winter hike was much easier because several feet of packed-down snow had filled in all of the irregular and rutted parts. The uneven and rocky trail was still there—the rocks, stumps and roots don’t miraculously disappear in the winter—but the snow smoothed out the path. The ruts and other hazards were still there, but we were far less affected by them.

Walking with Jesus is like a trek on a snow-packed trail. Life’s obstacles are still there but Jesus makes the way smoother and easier to traverse. Like the rocks on the path, our troubles won’t miraculously disappear, but we will be less aware, less affected, and less troubled by them. Instead of blindly stumbling along, we will walk confidently because the Lord is smoothing the path ahead and holding us steady with His hand.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the lord holds them by the hand. [Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)]

I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. [Isaiah 42:16 (NLT)]