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Trading Places
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Have you ever wished you could trade places with someone, not in their fortune but in their suffering? Pain is not something you covet, but the grief of their pain makes your heart plead that somehow you might share their suffering if only it would make their course lighter. All the human love in the world cannot take away the pain of suffering nor can it trade places with the sufferer.

I wanted so much to be able to trade places with our granddaughter in the first week of her life. She was so perfectly and beautifully formed on the outside, but on the inside, her tiny heart had serious problems. She was rushed away from her mother to the Children’s Hospital to undergo open-heart surgery.

Adults generally have blood samples taken from the veins in their arms. For infants, I learned, the best source for obtaining a sample was the heel of the foot. It didn’t take long for our little one to learn that someone taking hold of her foot would cause her pain. Every blood-draw was a fierce battle of terrified screaming and kicking.

If only they could take my blood, I wished as I cradled the baby in my arms, assuring, “It’s going to be alright. It’s going to be alright,” even as I tried to hold her still so the nurse wouldn’t have to jab the needle again. But my blood wouldn’t have covered the need.

Serious "Heart Problems"

Move this into the spiritual realm where it is revealed that the fruit from the forbidden tree that was ingested by Eve and Adam has afflicted the entire human race with serious “heart” problems. “As it is written,” says Paul in Romans 3:10-12 (NASB), “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.”  

We cannot save ourselves any more than our grandbaby could save herself from the certain death which awaited her if her condition was not treated.

Amazingly, for us who have been condemned by the “wages of sin” to eternal death, there was One able to take our place and take our death in order to give us His Life. Jesus Christ shed His blood on our behalf. He took the crown of thorns, the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in his side.

He did not take away from us our suffering or our pain, but He promised to be with us through it all; and that what we suffer now is not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed to us in the future (Romans 8:18).  All because He traded places with us where it mattered most!

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®

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