A Heavenly Exchange
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look firm at His wonderful face, and the weight of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. She sang that song to me as I sat in her arms bawling like a baby. I was on my second mission trip over in Cambodia living in an orphanage. I had come down with some sort of bacteria infection causing open sores that were infected pretty badly covering my legs and arms. They itched uncontrollably and the pain was almost unbearable. I couldn’t get the proper care or the medication I needed. All these questions began to swirled in my head. Fear and worry had overtaken me and I pondered the scariest question of all, what if I died over here?
Worry likes to be everyone’s friend and a controlling one at that! There are plenty of opportunities throughout our day to engage in conversation with worry. Worry is when we allow our mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. For example, worrying about family members, children, jobs, money, marriage, relationships, parenting, schooling, health, you name it, if we want, we can worry about it. You know that old saying, “worry yourself sick”? There is actually a lot of truth to that statement. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down (Proverbs 12:25) The fact is, worrying can affect the body in ways that may surprise us. Excessive worrying can lead to feelings of high anxiety and can cause one to become physically ill. Did you know Jesus actually commands us, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25-27) We do not have to be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to our Father. (Philippians 4:6-7) Being afraid or worrying about life circumstances or current situations actually reveals a heart issue we need God to deal with. At the root of it all, we don’t trust God enough to handle whatever it is we are worried about. We need to allow God to bring us to a place where we trust that He is good all the time no matter what the outcome is we face. He is the solution to every problem we have. Our Heavenly Father is for us not against us. (Romans 8:31) His thoughts towards us are lovely. He delights over us with singing and dancing (Zeph 3:17) Nothing we are going through, or will ever go through catches Him by surprise. (Isaiah 46:10) We have to move pass the head knowledge and believe deep within our heart that with Him all things are truly possible. (Matthew 19:26) He is God of all mankind. Is there anything too hard for Him? (Jeremiah 32:27) When we meditate and believe on these truths, we can wage a war with worry and be victorious!
Our key verse is a hard truth to swallow. A truth we must hear to bring us back to the feet of Jesus when we are caught up in a dance with worry. Worrying has nothing beneficial to offer us. God knows the enemy will use worry to decrease our hope and limit our victories. Therefore, when life gets messy and we find ourselves worrying we need to make a heavenly exchange. As a child of God, we can go to the throne and lay it all down in exchange for something better. We cast all our anxiety on him because he cares for us, (1 Peter 5:7) and in exchange we get His peace. We come giving Him our labor and heavy load and in exchange we receive His rest. (Matthew 11:28-30) We give Him our weakness in exchange He gives us His strength. (Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:26-28)
I decided that afternoon that I was going to worship through my worrying and go to the throne room. I put worship music on my iPod and went for a walk into the marketplace. The Holy Spirit lead me into a shop where He told me to purchase a bracelet. I wasn’t sure why, but being obedient I did. I will never forget as I was walking out the song by David Crowder was playing, “Oh how He loves us.” I was a sobbing mess. I immediately heard the Holy Spirit tell me to look to my right. When I did, underneath the very basket of bracelets like the one I had purchase was an over-sized piece of poster board with some English writing that caught my attention. I scrambled to move the basket and uncover the poster board.
“On it written was I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5
God sent His Word and healed me. (Psalm 107:20) He healed my physical body, and in that moment, he also set me free from all the worry. That bracelet I bought was a reminder to me that a heavenly exchange was made that day. When I decided to surrender my worry about this situation to Him, He sent His Word and healed me. Within 24 hours my wounds were scabbing and healing. All Glory to God!!!!
When circumstances start to overwhelm us, we must turn our eyes to Jesus just like the lyrics to that song suggest. As we learn to not give into the temptation to worry and instead make a heavenly exchange our testimony will be like the Psalmist David’s, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all of my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)