When our father would return home from a trip, he would drop his bags in the kitchen floor and spread his arms. My sister and I would run into his warm embrace, not having dropped anything. We carried whatever we’d been holding at the time: a doll, a bouncy ball, a shoebox masquerading as a puppet theater, a bandaged finger or a scraped knee. Treasures to be shared and wounds to be comforted. It never occurred to us to withhold anything, because Daddy was big and good and kind and wise. We knew this without ever thinking about it. It simply was so.
Child-like trust is precious. “Jesus called for the little ones, saying, ‘Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.’” (Luke 18:16-17 NASB) So, He bids us to come to Him, to trust, to trade our stains and our sorrows, and to triumph with Him in His victorious work on the cross and in resurrection.
If we do not trust Him, we are more likely to try to leave our baggage somewhere before we come into His presence. If we do not bring our stuff with us in honest sincerity, we cannot benefit from the trade He offers. If we do not participate in the Divine Exchange, we will be hampered in living a victorious life.
“’I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you out with kindness.
I will lead [you] by streams of waters, on a straight path on which [you] will not stumble.
For I will turn [your] mourning into joy and comfort [you] and give [you] joy for [your] sorrow.
I will refresh the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people will be satisfied with My goodness,’ declares the Lord.'”
“‘For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days…: I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people….for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.’” (Excerpts from Jeremiah 31 NASB)
Under this new covenant, when we come into worship, we must bring all we are and all we are carrying. Here in this place, we trust, we trade, and we triumph with Him.
Dear one, what is it you need to trade? What treasure do you want to share? All you have is worthy of His attention. He is a good Father, and He longs to be gracious to you. He will affirm your place with Him, and He will take your rags and give you robes. In triumph and victory, you will bear witness to His faithfulness, His love and His mercy, and He will fulfill His purpose in calling you.
Until next week, beloved, enter into His presence with trust, exchange your ashes for His beauty, and fulfill your destiny in victory.