New Wineskin in the River
What does resurrection life look like in me? I mean the real thing. If He is real, and He is, then His presence looks like something other than just me without Him. Right?
I’ve found one constant that signals Him in me. It is change. Not the theoretical kind. Transformation sounds more spiritual. But transformation begins with change.
His life in me rearranges things. Not just random change for the sake of change. His presence seeks to uncover me, to unveil part of Him in me I didn’t know was there.
Fear used to drive me like a tyrant. My fear had lots of faces, none of which were very attractive. Sometimes it looked like anger. Often, it looked like control, making sure all of life was ordered and therefore, secure.
Fear made it hard to slow down. So much to accomplish to prove my worth! It didn’t make me much fun and kept me isolated from what really mattered, like relationships that needed time and trust.
What is it about God that He would even care to reshape and reconfigure me, to carry Him in a fresh, new and living way?
I looked around for a long time, trying to fit myself into the familiar even when everything changed around me. While change sounded good in theory, I resisted it.
Still, it didn’t keep me from being what God called a wine-skin. I’d never seen one and had no idea how one was made. So I did a little homework. Who would know I’d have something in common with a goatskin, stretched and lined with pitch?
Here’s what I learned. Wine has to have a container. Wine-skins were a portable way to carry liquid sweetness around. God wants us to be portable containers of Him, too. And He is very sweet.
It took lots of preparation for a wine-skin to hold wine. Especially if the wine was new. The new wine expanded as it matured. If the goat skin was old and inflexible, the skin burst and the wine was lost.
I love it when I know what’s going on, when I know how to do this thing called life. It’s just that life isn’t static. It moves. God moves, too. He wants to move me into unfamiliar territory. He needs me to look, to think in a different way for a new season.
Just because the wine is new and hasn’t had time to mature, doesn’t make it any less valuable. It just means the container needs to stretch. I need to let God’s presence shift cherished opinions and mind-sets.
I looked all over with my old wine-skin on, longing for the same function in the same package when the Lord wanted to do a new work. No wonder I got frustrated.
I couldn’t guarantee how my life would look or even if it would taste good. But if I didn’t change, the new wine, the new work, would break the old me and spill out like a wasted treasure.
New wine is precious. If I put today’s wine in yesterday’s me, I might lose the wine. The old me doesn’t have the capacity that new wine needs for growth.
So like my favorite GPS word, I am recalculating. I’m asking resurrection life to shape me. A lot is at stake. A new expression of Him waits. I may not recognize its package, but I’ll taste its sweetness. Others will, too.