I drove away from an annual Christmas Cookie Swap delighted with my tin filled with a variety of delectable cookies. Especially since I had taken chocolate crackle cookies made from a recipe I never tried before. I literally had to scrape the pan to get enough dough to make the 4 dozen cookies requested. Some were small, some were large, some were overdone. Fortunately, powdered sugar covers a multitude of sins, right?
But now! Now I was driving home with seven-layer bars, frosted sugar cookies, Napoleon hats, lemon wafers, rum balls, and so much more! It’s hard to pat yourself on the back while you’re driving, but I was definitely pleased—and grateful to my gracious friend who decorates her home beautifully and hosts this event each year.
With new confidence in my ability to make such an astute and excellent exchange, 4 dozen powder-coated crackle cookies for a tin full of baked delicacies, I began to wonder what else I should swap this Christmas season.
The first thing that came to mind was that maybe I could swap out my need to be heard, and to be right, with a willingness to really listen to what other people have to say. This could sweeten up my attitudes, and so be a good and a healthy swap.
I’d also like to swap out pessimism for optimism. There are events and changes in this world that give me reason to be discouraged, but there are also blessings to be found in every situation if we look for them. I want to be less like Eeyore and more like Tigger! That would be a mighty fine swap.
Always, I endeavor to swap out fear for faith. Concerns for friends and family members, and some of the choices they make, can lead me to fear the worst. But faith overcomes fear. God is still on His throne. He still cares. He still loves. There’s no question faith is the better deal.
I want to swap out darkness for light. There’s an abundance of evil in the world and despite our best efforts to keep it out, some might still seep under the doors of my home. I don’t need to invite it in. This season, I swapped out contentious news reports for schmaltzy Christmas movies. That was a soul-healing swap for sure!
All of these exchanges, as good as they are, may just be temporary however. The most enduring and amazing Christmas swap is the exchange God made with us. It’s clearly spelled out in a familiar Bible verse, John 3:16 (KJV): For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He sent His Son, Jesus, in exchange for a world of sin. He swapped forgiveness for failing. He traded the eternal for the temporal.
My prayer for those who have not yet swapped out a limited life for an eternal one is that they will do so this Christmas by believing in Jesus Christ. No judgment. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All need a Savior.
Our powdered-sugar coated, temporal lives for His pure eternal one. What a miraculous, life-changing Christmas swap!