New Wine

 Last week in a worship service we sang a song I hadn’t heard before. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear - but it was exactly what I needed to hear. It was about wine; specifically the making of wine.

Through circumstance and consequence, I feel like much of my adult life has been spent in seasons of crushing and pressing. Once I had the opportunity to attend a grape stomp. While I am glad to be able to say I have experienced the squish of warm pulp between my toes in the blistering late-summer sun of Texas, do note that I haven’t exactly sought out a chance to do so again.

Circa 2006

Then imagine how the grapes must have felt.

When Tim restarted his career in EMS, although we chose a lifestyle that allows us to mobilize in a moment’s notice … we were finally able to consider rooting in a little bit. We joined a church, started serving. Surely this must be a pleasant spring of quiet growth both professionally and for our children. Tim has been given several opportunities outside his normal shifts to serve his fellow medics as he has always wanted to do. I dug in to homeschooling the kids and finding opportunities for them to stretch their spheres of experience. Everything seemed to be green and growing, flourishing.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Then an unease crept in. In an unprecedented year, unprecedented things have been happening in Tim’s workplace. We don’t know what the future holds. And just like that, I feel that we’ve been plucked from the comfortable sunshine already and are in the vat underfoot.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins." - Jesus, Luke 5:37-38

I know that changes are coming. And I don’t know what they will look like. I long for clarity, yet I realize what God wants is my trust. He deserves my trust! He has been faithful before and He will be faithful again. Experience tells me that for wine, after the pressing comes the waiting. I do not feel designed for waiting.

Wine is obviously a product of fermentation, but the more complex wines also require time in the dark. Once bottled the processes consume what oxygen was left. Starved for air, the wine continues to undergo anaerobic developments that bring it to full maturity.

If this is a season of pressing, I know that the darkness to come may at times feel suffocating. But wine does not clamber out of the cellar and announce to the sommelier that it has had enough. No more than the clay appeals to the potter what type of vessel it would like to be.

Photo by Lomig on Unsplash

“On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?” - Romans 9:20

So I say make me Your vessel, make me an offering, make me an offering, make me whatever you want me to be. I will wait. I will trust. And I will look forward to the day the door opens, the light spills over me, and the Maker tells me it is time.