Monday, November 2, 2009


i was praying today with a friend who asked God to make a swap: Lord, please swap out anxiety for peace. when worry rears its ugly head, let me trade it in for your comfort.


another friend is plagued by a perpetually-breaking-down car. it's an old car, really pretty worthless but as it serves her family. she'll drive it into the ground, as they say, as it's useless as a trade-in: no car dealer wants a vehicle not worth the trouble to repair.


but here's the thing: anxiety is worthless. worry is worthless. yet God wants us--commands us, even--to trade those useless things in for priceless gifts: mercy, peace. it's the ultimate "cash for clunkers" deal: give me your junk; your polluting, unreliable, troublesome jalopies; your useless weight on your shoulders, and I'll give you peace, joy, mercy, rest. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (matthew 11:30). bring me your heavy burdens, and trade them in for my easy ones. if you're weary, bring your weariness to me, and i'll swap it for rest.

it's what Jesus did on the cross, really. isaiah 53:4-5 says, "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows [...] he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." He swapped His salvation and His righteousness for our sins, our decrepitude, and our punishment. He was forsaken by the Father so that we might never be. He took on our worse-than-uselessness to give us what we could never earn or even imagine.

and He promises in the book of revelation that in the end, He'll even swap out our old names for new, special, secretly chosen ones.

I will change your name.
you shall no longer be called
wounded, outcast,
lonely, or afraid.

I will change your name.
your new name shall be
confidence, joyfulness,
overcoming one,
faithfulness, friend of God,
one who seeks my face.

1 comment:

Cortney said...

i love that song. i sang it over my mom every day that she was in a coma. thanks for the reminder.