One thing I constantly struggle with in Haiti is cooking.  It never fails that every time I make a grocery list and go to the store they only have 1/3 of what was on my list and that’s if I’m lucky. So I have gotten pretty good at substituting. Easy substitutes are instead of pinto beans, I get black-eyed peas.  More difficult substitutes are for cream of chicken soup, buttermilk, beef broth, pancake mix. and the list goes on. Basically, I have to make a lot more from scratch and sometimes there are no substitutes (for example, tea bags, which we consider “liquid gold”).  My life is easier and more comfortable if I don’t have to substitute, but sometimes a substitute is necessary.  What I have learned from cooking though is that the substitute is usually better than the intended ingredient itself.  As I was blending up old hotdogs buns today to make seasoned breadcrumbs the reality of Jesus being our substitute hit me.  The definition of substitute is this…”a person or thing acting or serving in place of another”. Who was Jesus serving in place of? US! We should have been crucified for our sin, but He took our place. Why? Because in this case, the substitute was better!  Just like my cooking, I need to constantly substitute, and just like my life I am in need of a constant substitute.  Jesus was not just our substitute one time on the cross.  He is continually substituting for us.  For the things we cannot do.  For the people we cannot be.  He is our replacement. He stands in for us.  He is our strength when we are weak.  He is our intercessor when we cannot pray. He is our voice when we don’t know what to say. He is forgiveness when we cannot forgive.  He is our giver when we cannot give. He is our leader when we cannot lead. He is our restorer when we cannot get up. He doesn’t just go before us, He goes FOR us! Not just to the cross, but everywhere! What an amazing thought to know that He is EVERYTHING we are not.  He is the only substitution and Praise the Lord He is willing to be my substitute on a daily basis! As you go throughout your week think about all the places God has had to substitute for you and thank Him.