Man, oh man, I couldn’t believe it. Georgie and I had been married for about four years when she became pregnant with our daughter, Emily. I found myself going between amazed and terrified as she began to stretch out so that the new life within her could grow. It was a mystery – at least for me! She stretched and stretched and stretched… and now 25 years later, little Emily and her husband Ryota, are planning to plant and Enjoy Church in Japan in 2018. And so the stretch begins again.
This time around, I think it’s me who is bearing the stretch marks more than anyone else, as I try to learn what I need to know that we all might enjoy success. This is what Jesus said:
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. That way both the wine and the wineskins are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17 NLT)
I think that the older we get, the harder it is for us to learn new things; hence the saying, ‘Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.’ But this isn’t what I read in the Word. What I read in the Word is that “God is, “God is doing a new thing, don’t you perceive it, for now it’s springing up“.
The challenge for us all is that as creatures of habit and those who are generally adverse to risk, most fo us resort to what has worked in the past and doesn’t require great levels of learning and faith. But to lay hold of the new and all Christ is wanting us to do, we will be required to stretch – both in our thinking and in our faith.
New wine requires new wine skins; new eras require new thinking, attitudes, methods and skinny jeans (just kidding on the jeans!).
TODAY: TAKE ANOTHER LOOK… at embracing the stretch.