Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

The Great Exchange

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a great exchange.

The opportunity to take what used to be and trade up can be a marvelous feeling, can’t it? And all the swap meet tribes, and Mom-to-Mom groups just gave a hearty amen.

Getting something useful for the used up.

Getting something much more worthwhile for the worn out.

The problem is that many of us could raise our hands and sigh, “I feel like I’m always the latter.”

Many of us have hit these seasons of worn out, used up, packed in.

Sometimes in the scramble to survive this life, shucks, this moment in the right now, we’ve gone around in circles trying to fortify what we have left, shore up whatever remains, and forgotten that a great exchange is awaiting our attention, if we’d just quit labouring long enough to see.

That we can make a trade that will propel us along the next part of the journey in such a way that instead of feeling used up, we’ll feel partnered up.

And our partner, He’s bigger and more grand and more enduring than anything life tries to toss in our path.

That He is, after all, the Life Preserver.

We have to stop and realise an exchange is available to us, right now. Quite simply, because He loves us. And because He loves us, we never go unseen. And because we never go unseen, we’re assured His presence and all the things that come with it.


Dear One, yes you,  you who load up with worry from the minute they get on the school bus until the time they scamper back in the door. Who wonders how to make the stress disappear while another doctor is seen, or another program is added, or another bully is sidestepped. Who isn’t sleeping anymore so that you’ve anticipated their every need. Who doesn’t know whether to put food on the table, or be the dad that is present, or the wife that is accessible.

Want to trade?

He holds open His hand and offers to take your worry from you completely and in return wrap you in His promises of rescue and provision and trust. 

In fact He insists. For He knows what will happen when you step back and allow Him to provide extraordinary provision, and supply holy supervision, and place everything you love in His extraordinary protection.

Your worry… for His extraordinary.  That’s a great exchange.

And Beloved. You who strive so hard and sincerely and with great purpose. You hide all those things you call flaws, you keep building those walls around the tender parts you can’t let anyone see or touch, and you nurse all the wounds that the careless have created. You’re plagued with what ifs. You hide and you dodge and you cry when no one’s looking.

But you ARE seen. And He calls you beautiful. And He has something He’s aching to give you. His name. His love. His restoration.


Want to trade?

Trade your sorrow and your lack of worth and your depression, and see that He waits delighted to call you royalty, and precious, and to dance over you because the very fact of you delights Him so. That in the covering of His Son, you are radiant and perfected and belong to the King of all Kings.

Your everything invisible and trampled…. for His purpose and restoration.

That’s a beautiful exchange.

He sees every one.

The ones hustling hard to be independently exhausted.

The ones tackling the odds stridently to be famously empty.

The ones longing despairingly to be anybody’s next longing.

The ones that assume broken is the new black and that failure is the new norm.

Looking to His Word, words from Isaiah 61 resonate about the salvation given freely and the good news for everyone who needs new life…

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
  and the day of vengeance of our God,
  to comfort all who mourn,
  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
  to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
   the oil of joy instead of mourning,
   and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
  They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the Lord
   for the display of His splendor.

Oh, what an exchange He gives freely.

An exchange that transforms.

I think of the swans I see often on my walks with the camera. The young swans from last year, gangly, unsure, paranoid, greasy looking, dirty in colour are this year fully transformed. They’ve transformed into graceful, completely beautiful, elegant, pure white birds. This is the work of the Creator.

And He can do the same for us.

Beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, rejoicing for despair.

Perhaps It's Time for a Great Exchange

And even now He extends to us this gift.

He sees and He holds up hands with nail scars for us, and an empty tomb in the shadow of a tree of death, and great divides crossed for all and any who would understand that the Great Exchange has already been made. And even those in the know still forget this, from time to time. Until He softly reminds us.

Our end, for new beginning.

Our captivity, for holy freedom.

Our disaster, for His Life eternal.

And that what used to keep us down must now get out of His way.

For He is the way.

And the Truth.

And the Life.

Shrug off the worn out, used up, packed in parts of you.

Trade away those heavy burdens in exchange for rest.

I believe it’s about time for a great exchange.

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So glad to be linking up today with Suzanne Eller and the #livefreeThursday linkup!
Click on the hashtag above for all the inspiring blogs joining up today!


  1. I love the idea of an exchange. Such a visual way of seeing my tired and worn out turning into energized and excited.

    • Christine Duncan

      May 14, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      Yes! And He’s so eager to do this great thing, and yet some days I have to remind myself. So glad to have you visit Samantha. Have a beautiful afternoon!

  2. I also love the idea of the exchange. Yes, Lord! Thank you for your always beautiful words, Christine! #livefree

    • Christine Duncan

      May 14, 2015 at 1:32 PM

      Happy to hear from you again, Crystal, and what a gift He gives us when we take all our stuff to Him, leaving it at His feet means we have room for more of His goodness! A really blessed exchange that I need to always remind myself of 🙂 Thanks for such encouraging words, Crystal! Hugs and blessings!

  3. Time for a great exchange, indeed! Thanks for your inspiring words yet again, Christine!

  4. Hands up! YES I want to trade for sure!!! Beautiful thoughts on this idea : ) Thanks Christine!

  5. Abby Breuklander

    May 14, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    Love love and love!! 🙂

  6. “Shrug off the worn out, used up, packed in parts of you. Trade away those heavy burdens in exchange for rest.
    I believe it’s about time for a great exchange.” So beautifully said and full of hope. Thank you!!

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