GOD’S GIFTS ARE WORTHY OF OUR TRADE
When we think about the bountiful gifts God offers us, we can easily choose to give up all that we have in exchange. His love and salvation are worthy of our trade.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Homer, Alaska, can be cold in early summer. During one visit I sat on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, wrapped in three layers of clothing and a blanket, my ears covered with a wool visor cap against a biting wind. I wouldn't have traded that misery for anything. Snow-capped mountains across the bay glittered in the early morning sunlight. Foamy whitecaps crashed onshore with the incoming tide. Sea otters floated placidly on the
waves, their whiskered faces showing like little pups.
Other things besides discomfort for beauty are worth trading. Families sit on blankets swatting at hordes of mosquitoes while awaiting the July 4th fireworks display. Busy housewives rise at 4 a.m. to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for their loved ones. Runners endure agony to reach their goal before anyone else. Parents spend long hours at work to better provide for their families. Students sacrifice socializing with friends in order to graduate college with honors. Gardeners sweat and groan to keep the weeds down, all for the reward of tasty vegetables or beautiful blooms.
God offers a variety of worthy trade-offs, too. We can trade our sorrows, disappointments, and worries for His incomparable peace. We can transfer our dependency on status, money, or family for the assurance of being God's child now and eternally. We can trade our sinful pursuits for the felt blessing of His forgiving presence. We can trade our treasures and pleasures for the joy of serving Him in the ministry of sharing His love and salvation with others.
God’s trade-offs are the best, worthy of any sacrifice. Jesus, the Son of man, sacrificed everything so we could be reconciled to God. The apostle Paul gave up popularity, respect, and good standing in the church, to pursue Christ. He said, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him..." (Philippians 3:8)
Lord, thank You for Your blessings that are worthy of exchange. Show us the things in our lives we need to trade for them. Help us to remember that real riches and joy are in You alone. Our peace and contentment in You cannot be traded for anything better. Your incomparable love cannot be found in anyone or anything else. Thank You, Lord, for Your generous, loving gifts. In Jesus' name, amen.