Years ago, when our son was really young, he got sick. Caleb’s battle with fever, coughing and sleepless nights had worn us down physically and mentally.
That afternoon as Caleb took his afternoon nap, my wife and I rested from our wearisome week. As we prayed for Caleb, my wife began to weep. “I just wish I could be sick in his place,” she cried.
I, too, would have done anything to swap places with Caleb. I wished it were me lying in that bed with a fever and cold chills instead of him. I wanted to bear his sickness.
At that moment, I understood more about our Father’s heart towards us.
In the following scripture, the prophet Isaiah prophesied about Jesus and how he would bear our pain: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Just as in The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, the Prince of the Universe wants to trade places with you, a lowly sinner. In fact, he became a man and endured punishment for your peace. He is ready to take your place, if you will simply accept your status as a child of the King. He wants to carry your pain, your affliction, your burdens, your torment. He invites you to give him your fears, your doubts, your worries.
I believe with all my heart that healing and freedom can come to those who give themselves totally to Jesus. When you give your heart to him completely, he will take your pain and replace it with his peace and confidence.
If I had the power to swap places with my son, I would have done it in a heartbeat because I love him so much. How much more does Jesus love you?
Prayer: Father, I know that from the first moment I believed in your Son as my Lord and Savior, I became your child. And though I know that Christ died to take my infirmities and sorrows upon his shoulders, to nail them to the cross, I continue to cling to them because I have grown used to them. I yield these to you now. From this day on, help me to live like the child of God that I am.