Bigger and Better

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

*Today's post is by guest writer Sandy Hall*

Many years ago when Bud and I were young newlyweds, we were working with the teens at our church. We planned a YAC (Youth after Church) for a Sunday night and had about 30 kids in our home for fun and food. Bud divided the teens up into teams of 4 or 5, gave each team a penny, and sent them out into our neighborhood to trade that penny for something bigger and better. They could trade up as many times as they could convince people to trade, and they had to be back to our house by a certain time. Off they went! Some very interesting items came back to our home that night! Lots of laughs. I remember a bird cage even. But the one thing that was most exciting to this wife and soon-to-be-mother was a dryer. It didn’t run….but that didn’t stop us. Bud discovered it needed a $7 part, fixed it, and we were good to go. I think we used that dryer for our family of 7 for about 20 years!!

When I was a little girl, I made a trade that changed the course of my life. I traded my sin for the righteousness of God. I traded my plans for my life for God’s plans for my life. I traded my selfishness for God’s love.  And I’m so glad! It was a great trade. Something far bigger and better! This song gives my testimony:

"Trading My Sorrows" by Darrell Evans

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

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

The  Scriptures give many examples of men and women through the ages who traded for bigger and better:

- Abraham traded the security and comfort of his home in Ur for obedience to follow God to the unknown, believing in the promises of God. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; or he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10
- Sarah traded barrenness for the strength to bear a child.  “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11
- Did Moses ever dream he would lead the nation of his people, the Jews, out of bondage in Egypt? Hebrews 11 tells us he traded the passing pleasures of sin for suffering affliction with the people of God; he traded the treasures of Egypt for the reproach of Christ.
“And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16

And my mind goes to the quote by Jim Elliot, a missionary martyr in Ecuador in the 50’s,  “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

So many godly examples of those who were willing to trade for something bigger and better.
Why then do we hang on tight to the “penny”? What are you hanging on to? Can you not see that God has something bigger and better in mind for you? Trade in that penny for God’s best!

By Sandy Hall
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