The soundtrack to my growing up years was either Sandi Patty, Psalty the Singing Songbook, or Luke Garrett. My dad’s choice of “Polish Polka” was always overruled. Recently, one of the songs that Mom played called “Wondrous Exchange” came back to mind.
“A wondrous exchange, a wondrous exchange / An offer so great I can scarcely believe / His crown for my shame, His loss for my gain / His death for my life, what a wondrous exchange”
On the day of my 18th birthday I started working in retail. It was my life until I went to seminary almost five years later. One thing I encountered on almost a daily basis was exchanges. Or even more appropriately titled “even exchanges.” If a shirt came in and wasn’t in bad condition, you could exchange it for something of equal value. If you wanted something better, that option was available to you, but for a price.
In thinking about exchanges recently I was stuck anew by the magnitude of not just the song, but what Jesus actually did for each of us. Him for me: Holy God for wretched human. Prince for pauper. Perfection for corruption. This wasn’t remotely an “even exchange” policy – this was exchanging something dirty and tattered for new perfection. But the catch is, there was a price… but He paid it.
Quite frankly, it doesn’t make sense! Why would God allow this vastly uneven exchange in the first place, and even more than that, why would He offer His own Son to pay the price?! And yet, God wonderfully, mercifully, and miraculously is a God who does things that don’t make sense, at least in our finite human minds.
Throughout our lives there are snapshots that don’t seem to make sense in the moment but weeks, months, even years later we understand exactly what He was trying to accomplish. Things that don’t seem to fit in the puzzle at the time, fill a perfect void in later life when we realize there was an edge piece missing, or maybe a bigger picture entirely.
I don’t always understand what God is doing, in fact I dare say I am confused more often that I am confident. But when I think of the wondrous exchange paid for me, I realize that I am right where I’m supposed to be: relying on a God who sees a bigger picture, and always wants he best for me.