Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wineskins Old and New

Mark 2:21-22 (New International Version)
21"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins."

What are my "new wine skins?" I wonder. I pray for the answer.

It is almost 4 weeks since God stopped me in my tracks--and his timing was significant.

In the three weeks that lay head of me then, I had, I thought, a significant role to play in several areas of my life.

But it was as if God chose exactly that time to say to me, "You think that you are so needed and that your world can't proceed without you? Well, dear daughter, lie back (I had no choice in this part) and observe."

I am grateful that I am still here and that I have this second chance to live a new life--my "new wine." But I am searching for the personal meaning of "new wine skins."

Continuing to live and doing so in a way that honours God's intentions in all of this is what I want. But how can I withstand the internal and external pressure to pick up speed and many responsibilities?

I wish that I could end this neatly, with answers that are inspirational for others. Dear friends, at the moment I can't.

I feel weak and helpless in this area; needy, and dependant on God (but I do recognize that this is truly a good thing.)

As I step back into "my world," I need to hold tightly to Father's hand. I don't know how I can do it any other way. I have nothing in me but a healthy fear of stepping onto old paths, and a longing to learn new ones.

Together in the journey that you share with me! Belinda

Mark 4:18-20 (New International Version)
18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.


Dave Hingsburger said...

But it was as if God chose exactly that time to say to me, "You think that you are so needed and that your world can't proceed without you? Well, dear daughter, lie back (I had no choice in this part) and observe."

Gee, Belinda, I think that God may have been saying, Oh, no, my beloved child is sick, let me muster care for her, let me get her to the right hospital, let me guide the surgeons hands, let me surround her with love. She has much yet to do, we have a long walk ahead together.

I felt that God was surrounding you with love care and affection, not trying to get you to face up to your ultimate unnecessariness. No! What I saw was God wildly in love with his daughter, caring for her deeply. We can learn through illness but I cannot believe that God strikes down purposely to teach lessons. I think he uses our own foilbes and edges for those.

'You think your are so needed and your world can't proceed without you? ... well you are so needed and your world can't proceed without you. You got that right, I think that's what God was showing you, why do you think he took such care to get you back to your life and to us?

And there are lessons, I'm sure, but like after a child falls from a bike and a loving parent bandages a knee, after the child is safe, parents may say, 'not so fast' parents may say, 'use your breaks' parents may say, 'don't frighten us again, we love you.

Sorry for the long post but YOUR WORLD CAN'T GO ON WITHOUT YOU. MY WORLD CAN'T GO ON WITHOUT ME, OUR WORLDS CAN'T GO ON WITHOUT GOD. This isn't lack of humbleness but I felt really moved to tell you that God's first actions when you fell ill were of a physician, not a morals teacher.

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
Thank you for such a loving remonstrance. It was needed in order to clarify and bring balance to what I wrote.

I agree, that God does not strike down. I don't think he did that and I should not have implied that. There is something so significant about the time this all happened though that makes it hard to believe it was coincidence. Maybe the enemy wanted to take me out and God used it for good--that is a better truth I think. He did, in many ways use it for good--all sorts of ways, some of which you mentioned. I truly was poured over with love from both God and others. It was also good for me to realize that no one is indispensable. I needed to know that the weight of the world is not on my shoulders and that God is in control.

I feel wrapped in a blanket of love this morning, as I go forth. Thank you for your kind clarifying and correction. I like the Dave Hingsburger Version better.

Susan said...

Wow, you two have given me a lot to think about and sort out this morning.

As for whether your world could proceed without you... All I know is that MY world DEFINITELY could NOT proceed without you. And I'm with Dave - I'm so grateful that God mustered what was needed and gave you back to all of us. (Especially me!)

Deidra said...

I know this much is true: In our weakness He is strong. And we are always weak, we just don't always know it. Our God loves us in spite of that, though. And He uses whatever life throws at us to show us just how much.

Marilyn said...

What loving friends, bringing swift correction with loving words!

And yet - I think I can speak to this since cancer swept into our lives here last year, sidelining us very suddenly - I think I understood Belinda's meaning. When Wally was diagnosed with leukemia and treatment was needed right away, we needed to pull out of many tasks, some of which we'd been doing for over a decade. How would they ever get done if we did not do them?

And so the reminder...."You think you are so important?" NOT a condemnation really, but a reminder, a tap on the shoulder about WHOSE work it is and that we can be put in and taken out of it in a heartbeat.

From that....a renewed sense of needing to choose wisely, SEE where God is pointing us to work and where He is not pointing (but where we are inclined to go because we've always done that job).

"Look to me!" I hear. "I am the one doing the work. Look to me for your role in it."