18 Nov One Heck of an Exchange
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” – 2 Peter 1:2
Right now, we’re working on getting our 4 year old son to sleep in his bed all night long without coming into our room to crawl in bed with us in the middle of the night. This hasn’t been the easiest challenge in our parenting experience – our little boy really loves sleeping with his mom and dad! So, a few weeks ago, I bought a box of 50 Hot Wheels cars and an ‘Okay to Wake’ alarm clock. This clock turns from red to orange at 6:30am, telling our son that he can get out of his bed, but he has to play in his room until he gets the green light at 7:30am. Then, I told him that every morning after which he slept in his big boy room all night long and stayed in his room until the light turned green, he could pick out a car.
Guess what? It’s working. He is excited to sleep in his room alone and looks forward to getting a car the next morning. He’s proud of himself and I’m proud of him (and well-slept) too!
These lessons are good for kids to learn as life is full of exchanges – if my son stays in his room all night, he gets a Hot Wheels car… when I pay the barista, I get my coffee… when we make mistakes, we have consequences… when I see joy on my child’s face because he’s proud of himself, I feel joy… It’s all a give and take – a conundrum of exchanges.
God tells us that He has a special exchange available for us as well. He tells us through His word that when we take the time to meet with him in prayer, there’s something amazing for us to gain in return. Prayer is a place of exchange. It’s where God exchanges our anxieties, shame, and doubts for His peace and grace.
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” -Matthew 6:6 (The Message)
If we give Him our undivided attention and meet with Him in prayer, He gives us His presence, which brings a cleansing shower of grace and a peace that surpasses understanding. We give Him our time and He gives us what we may need to just make it through that day. It’s a promised exchange that we have access to every single day – it’s free, too – all it requires is that we take a moment to turn to Him in prayer.
This week, I challenge you to spend some time alone with God each day. This time of year is starting to speed all of us up with to do’s and celebrations. Make a point to stop and just be still and be with Him. Whether it’s on the morning drive to work or while sitting in the carpool line or before you fall asleep at night or early in the morning, it doesn’t matter – just find a quiet place and give Him your undivided attention. Then, watch the glorious exchange take place in your life!