Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trading or Laying Down?

There is an upbeat song, which I like very much, often sung in churches called Trading My Sorrows. The first verse reads:

I'm trading my sorrow.
I'm trading my shame.
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord.

Anyway, I recently discovered that this song has confused my understanding without me even realizing it!

How so? I had naturally assumed that the interchange of words here, trading and laying down, must mean that these words/phrases were synonymous. Huh? I had accepted that trading must mean laying down.

Not true. They do not mean the same thing!

When I go before the LORD and enter into His presence, I have a tendency to lay down my stresses (worries, pain, problems, shortcomings, sadness, etc.) "outside the door" to go "inside" to celebrate Him and pick up what He is offering (joy, peace, tenderness, help, guidance, love, etc.). Then, when I must attend to other matters (leave this inner sanctuary), I pick back up the mess I laid down "outside the door" as I am leaving! That might be laying down, but that is definitely not trading.

I don't think the LORD wants us to lay anything down just to be picked back up! Instead, He wants to trade -- this for that.
Beauty for ashes.
Forgiveness for bitterness.
Understanding for anger.
Love for hatred.
Peace for confusion.
Joy for sorrow.
Basically, we have nothing worthwhile to offer (except ourselves, which are of value in His sight for we have been made in His image). All I ever have to give my LORD is marred by wickedness, selfishness, and evil. Yet, all He offers to give us is good. He is not only willing to take it but asks us to give Him our bad and offers us good in return. Now that's a trade! In fact, it is too marvelous for words. I give Him a heart of stone, and He gives me a heart of flesh. Only tears can express this poor girl's heartfelt gratitude.

Trading it all,