What a dumb thing to do. I bought the wrong color, and it likely won’t work with anything in my closet. The style is all wrong. It doesn’t fit right. Waiting for a sale would have been a better plan. These thoughts shouted in my mind as I drove away from the store. Back home, I put the sweater on again and looked at myself in the mirror. Sighing, I removed it and put it back in the bag.
Busyness filled several days before I took the article of clothing back to the store. I found another sweater with a better fit and color. Since the newer one was on sale, the two were now the same price.
The clerk gave me the total, and I pushed my eyebrows as high as they could go.
“What? That’s less than the one I’m exchanging.”
The woman smiled and said, “Nice surprise, isn’t it?”
I left the store giggling. The new sweater was of higher value, and I liked it more. It was a surprising uneven swap. While some exchanges are not worth it, others end up being greater than what we started with.
Take Adam and Eve for example. They made an exchange in the garden. They gave up walking with God and having personal contact and conversations for a lifetime of listening to a liar (Genesis 3). Jonah swapped the ability to travel by boat to share God with others and wound up smelling rather fishy. When allowed to make an attitude adjustment, he still ended up in the hot sun with no shade (Jonah 1-4). Lot’s wife decided to give up the chance at a new life for a rather salty end (Genesis 19:15-26).
Then there’s Paul who gave up persecuting Christ-followers when he became one (Acts 9). Disciples turned their backs on jobs to walk with the Messiah. Others left their homes to find a new life.
When we choose a higher quality substitute, the result can be more of a blessing than we ever thought possible.
How about exchanging stress for peace or worry for calm? What about loneliness for love or heartache for comfort?
Trading strength for weakness or wisdom for confusion sounds much better as well.
These are but a few of the exchanges God wants to make with us when we bring our ill-fitting struggles to Him.
Throughout the Bible, God shows us ways to trade our bad decisions for His good ones. Ephesians 4:21-23 speaks of this idea as does 2 Corinthians 5:17. God wants us to let go of our old ways of doing things and replace them with all the good He offers us. Romans 8:15 tells us that when we come to Christ, we no longer have to live in fear but rather live in His Spirit.
Sounds like a great swap to me. The exchanges God offers are uneven as far as what God takes. Jesus took our sin on Himself so we could be given His righteousness instead.
Is there an uneven exchange you need to make with God? Maybe today is the day to exchange ill-fitting parts of life in exchange for His presence and righteousness.
Photo credit: Unsplash 1. fa barboza 2. Junior Reis