Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Patches and Wineskins

Recently my husband Dick, who is a pastor, comforted a grieving family and performed a joyous wedding ceremony, all within less than three hours. The pendulum of emotions swung a wide arc that evening.

For all of us, life is constantly changing. One madly-in-love couple marries while two estranged individuals divorce. An anxiously awaited child is born and a beloved husband passes into the arms of Jesus. Retirement looms in the near future for one who has served faithfully in the same profession his whole life; at the same time, a well-educated man finds himself job-hunting once again due to company down-sizing. A widow moves to a smaller, income-based apartment, while a young family purchases a house large enough to accommodate their dreams. Children and grandchildren grow from infancy to adulthood and our role as parents change right along with the changes occurring within them.

Several of these changes are occurring right now for Dick and I, and for those we hold most dear. At times, I have tried to dig my heels in and resist the inevitable changes. All I have accomplished is further fraying of already taunt emotions and situations. God reminded me of what Jesus taught in Matthew 9:16-17:

“No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. When the patch shrinks, it will rip away from the coat, and the tear will become worse. Nor do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, people pour new wine into fresh skins, and both are saved.”

In the face of changes, we must be wise and discerning—knowing when to adhere to the old ways and when it is best to embrace the fresh, new opportunities God is allowing in our lives.

Will exercising wisdom and discernment make these kinds of life changes painless and effortless? Not likely. However, stubborn insistence on our way and resistance to what God has planned only causes damage and ruin.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . .”

What “old patches” or “new wineskins” has God brought to your life recently?

Be encouraged!

©2017 Pamela D. Williams

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