Have you found yourself grateful that this virus struck in the spring? Can you imagine if we were in the dead of winter, kids and all stuck in the house? No grass to run through. No social distancing conversations on the back porch. No bikes to ride through the neighborhood. I heard New York was going to get pounded with snow this morning and it made my heart hurt. In moments like these you need spring.
I’ve always believed that there is a running theme that what is happening in the natural is often what is happening in the spiritual. That just like in winter, life is growing under the surface so that when spring arrives it can show off all its fanciness. It’s brilliant color. It’s beauty. It’s maturity. It’s strength. Spring means to leap, burst forth, fly up, spread, grow. Don’t you love those visuals.
Could it be, or rather shouldn’t it be, that while we are in this physical moment that seems like winter, that things should be happening internally so that when we are finally “sprung” there will be more leaping from the inside of us, bursting forth from the inside of us and having grown on the inside of us than ever before?
May I switch metaphors for a moment? At the beginning of this new year I asked the Lord for a word for my new year. The word He gave was new wine. Over and over he confirmed to me that this was my word for this season. Even the other night I woke up at 2:10. As I lay in bed, just praying for people because I couldn’t go back to sleep, I knew that 2:10 was important for me. As I know God speaks through numbers so often in his word as every number has specific meaning. He wouldn’t have put it in the bible if it didn’t mean something. I read through my emails later that day and when I opened one it began with John 2:10 “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
Now hang with me for just a minute. I believe this moment is an awakening moment for God’s church. I believe we have been in the slumber of winter for too long. Church has gotten routine. “Getting to” have time with the Lord has gotten pushed out by the “have to’s.” The world has gotten more attractive than the cross. I mean who wants a cross? For other’s our religion or our “way of doing church” has become more important than the presence of God at work in our church. And God, in his mercy and love has allowed a shaking. A shaking I truly believe more for his church than anyone else. Yet, we know that millions are “watching church” now than ever before.
Wine in scripture often represents the Holy Spirit, as well as a renewed love. But the thing about new wine is it can’t go in old wineskins. If you put new wine in old wineskins the wineskins will burst. So, could it be that God is allowing the shaking off of old wineskins? Could it be that Jesus’ last miracle to his church is like his first miracle? Remember, the natural represents the spiritual. Jesus saved the very best wine for last at the wedding. And that miracle launched his public ministry. Could his final outpouring of new wine and fresh awakening to our hearts be the final miracle before his return? Oh I think that would be just like Jesus!
You and I are being given a holy rest. I didn’t say it wasn’t hard. I know it is hard. Everything inside of us wants to flail and be riddled with fear but the hard and the holy often go hand in hand. And my prayer is that we will see this season as holy. That we will ask God to shake anything in us that can be shaken, so that he can pour in his new wine so that when we are given the ability to “spring forth” we will be such a different church that we could usher in the final great awakening before Jesus makes his next appearance?! Oh my goodness! What an overwhelming and breathtaking thought!
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? Isaiah 43:19
Oh friend, he is building new wine skins for new wine! Spring is upon us. Let’s not miss this moment!