Saturday, March 2, 2019

New Wine

It's MARCH!!!!  Can I get a hallelujah?! Even though in most of Canada we're still under ridiculous amounts of ice and snow, in some parts of the world Spring is already springing - and it makes me so happy! I can hardly wait to see the crocuses I planted last Fall peek up through the white stuff - it won't be long now! No matter how much more snow we get in the next few weeks (and we'll likely get quite a bit - fat, fluffy flakes are falling as I type 😒), Spring will still come

While I've traditionally been more of a Fall gal, the month of March and the approach of Spring has come to be very significant in my life. Two Marches ago, I experienced a miraculous healing, which radically changed every aspect of my life. (Just in case you missed it, you can read about that awesomeness here.) Still celebrating that indescribable gift!! And last March, I started the first full-time job I've ever been able to keep - both my husband and my bank account are still celebrating that one 😊 

Lover of beauty that I am, I have always delighted in all the signs of new life that accompany the approach of Spring. And now I feel like I'm participating in that glorious resurrection dance - my life has been made new in so many ways. And continues to be! I'm ecstatic to report that this March is no exception...

...but first, a little Lenten interlude... 

Lent begins this coming Wednesday. It's been my habit for several years to choose a prayer to pray every day during this season, usually with a fasting/breaking/new life theme, to prepare my heart for the soul-feast of Easter. This has been a very spiritually enriching practice for me. Each prayer has crossed my path randomly, or so it seemed at the time. I've never really sought them out, but I always recognized them as significant upon first reading/hearing. 

About a month ago, I had the privilege of visiting a much-loved church I used to attend. I was graciously allowed to sing with the worship team, which never fails to thrill my soul. One of the new songs we sang struck me instantly as "the one" for this year's Lenten journey. It's called New Wine. (You can listen to it here.) 
In the crushing, in the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil, I now surrender
You are breaking new ground
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don't need to understand
Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
'Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today 
So make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
God, I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
I've already been meditating on these words and images, and am so looking forward to what God will reveal as I delve deeper into their meaning and significance for my journey. The "crushing" and "pressing" strike me particularly; there's been a lot of that in my life lately. Not that I know much about it, but the process of wine-making is a pretty violent one - for the grape! Crushing and pressing are not gentle actions - they imply pressure and changing of shape and squeezing out; but all for the purpose of making something new.
So that's what March feels like for me this year. I'm taking steps toward what I believe God has called and equipped me to do; I'll be listening for God's voice so that I don't run ahead or lag behind. It's an exciting and scary and tension-filled place to be - living in between the now and the not-yet. But as I learn to love the questions and embrace the stretching, I believe I'll find abundant grace and joy here.  

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