The Divine Exchange

For whatever reason, the day felt like a bunch of tiny hurdles I had to make, and I wasn’t hurdling well.

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I woke up from a terrible, stressful nightmare today as I write this. I felt kicked around by the enemy and woke up with a feeling of defeat and helplessness like I couldn’t do anything right. It set the tone of my whole day, especially when it came to cutting out the very first prints of my painting of “Until the Last Drop.” I kept making mistakes with the cuts, which added to my mounting frustration of the lie I started my day with, which was that “I can’t do anything right.”

For whatever reason, the day felt like a bunch of tiny hurdles I had to make, and I wasn’t hurdling well. A nagging sense of defeat followed me. Still, I was determined to make good on the promise that I would deliver this print to my friend today, even though it was raining and even though he lived a good distance away from me.

On the way, I decided to listen to a new worship album (The Altar Series by Rick Pino). I didn’t expect the Lord to do anything, but I became acutely aware of His presence right there in my car. He insisted that I give Him my stress, so I verbally told Him that I was giving it over. It was getting too heavy anyway. Then, it’s like He reached through the worship music that was playing and gave me the most intentional hug I’ve ever received. He hugged me as if my life depended on it. It wasn’t just a casual hug. There was a transfer in that hug. It was my stress for His perfect love and acceptance. It was not a fair exchange, but He didn’t seem to mind.

He hugged me in a way that made it seem like He had righteous indignation toward the stress and the lie of “not doing anything right,” and His perfect justice, which renders me innocent because of His blood, was revealed to me once again. He literally squeezed the lie, along with the petty stress that accompanied it, right out of me, and I was clean again. Meanwhile, Rick Pino was singing, “He makes me lie down in green pastures,” and later, “in Your presence, everything is made new.” Suddenly, it became abundantly clear that He loves me–really, truly, fully loves me. Being reminded of this fact, I had to repent for believing the lie that “I can’t do anything right.” Darkness is easier to spot when the Light of the World arrives on the scene, and the contrast becomes immediately obvious.

Just when I thought the Lord had thoroughly healed me and nothing else was necessary, He took it a step further. After wiping more than a few happy tears, I delivered the print to my friend, who had waited so patiently for me during the whole process of creating it. He took the print and surprised me with a thank-you note in return. While I won’t reveal what was written, I will say that what I read felt like a thank-you note from the Lord Himself.

At that point, the lie of “not doing anything right,” was obliterated and now seemed utterly foolish. I understood for the first time that the things I do for Him (although as imperfect and messy as a child’s drawing compared to His perfection) still deeply move His heart, and He’s not ashamed to take my “messy drawing” and hang it up on His fridge. He doesn’t hang it up because it’s a masterpiece by the world’s standards, but like any parent, does so simply because He loves me. To Him, it’s a masterpiece because it was a labor of love, not because it was technically perfect or impressive.

Letting Him use my weakness is much more preferable anyway because, in this way, His strength is much more visible to others around me, knowing I couldn’t have possibly been the one responsible for any impressive work.

Therefore, this is the divine exchange I bring:

  1. My burdens for His rest (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7)
  2. My weakness for His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  3. My ashes for more of His beauty (Isaiah 61:3)
  4. My mourning for the oil of His joy (Isaiah 61:3)
  5. A spirit of heaviness for a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3).
  6. My fear for His perfect love (1 John 4:18).
  7. My likeness to Adam for the likeness of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49).
  8. My sin for the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:8)
  9. And one day, our corruptible, mortal bodies will be exchanged for incorruptible, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53).

While this is not an exhaustive list, one can’t help but notice that this is by no means a fair trade. I thank God that it’s not fair, or else there would be no hope for any of us. While it doesn’t make sense from a logical point of view why He would decide to do any of this when we have nothing of value to offer Him, it makes perfect sense when we see it from the lens of His perfect love.

It’s from this place that everything comes into proper perspective. Jesus didn’t say that eternal life was “following every single rule perfectly.” Rather, He said eternal life is KNOWING Him (John 17:3), and Paul said His Kingdom was “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Lord, help us when we forget and fall short of this reality.

If you’re reading this and you find yourself in a similar state to the state I was in, I pray this post leads you into your own encounter with the Prince of Peace, the one called The Resurrection and The Life, and that you find yourself fully restored with one look of His eyes. It grieves His heart when His people are wallowing in fear and stress. Let Him heal you today!



  1. Painting: “First Day in Heaven” by Kerolos Safwat
  2. The Altar Sessions by Rick Pino

3. Painting: Until the Last Drop by Sierra Bradbury


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on AwesomeSierra

Featured Image by Joe from Pixabay

The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

Sierra Bradbury is a writer, artist, and a Kingdom Winds Collective member whose mission is to encourage, edify, and equip the Body of Christ. She believes the "Jesus in her" has the power to transform hearts and nations, and it is her desire to share Him and His wondrous works with the world.

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