Wineskins and Wine

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:16-17

Sometimes, when we begin to pray for new wine, the Lord begins a process that will allow Him to answer that prayer. But He doesn’t start with the new wine.

First, the Lord will begin to remove old wineskins. Then, He will begin to create new wineskins in your life. This takes time. New wineskins take time to craft. Then, when they are ready, He will pour out the new wine.

Most of us struggle to stay in the process long enough to experience the new wine. But the Lord takes us through this process because He wants to preserve both the wine and the wineskin. Without this process, He could do damage to both.

We sometimes think that the answer to the prayer is the new wine. That is what we are asking for after all. But the answer to the prayer for new wine has been the whole process–the removal of the old wineskin, the creation of the new skins, and the pouring out of new wine. If we can see that all of it constitutes God’s answer to our prayer for new wine, we’ll be able to hang in there. We’ll be able to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

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