Before we left Houston after our last chemo treatment we stood in our soon to be forgotten apartment and held hands with our new friends since June 11th and prayed. This family has been a rock for us while we were in Houston. They have had their bout of struggles as well. Different than ours, but still hard.
We prayed for each other.
Our lives were taking on something different and we realized that even though we couldn’t clearly see what God was doing, it was going to bring Him glory.
Bill prayed that God would help us in our “new normal”.
Things sure weren’t the old normal any more, but I am not sure that this new normal was something I was wanting to embrace. God has very gently shown me that the new normal wasn’t something to be afraid of.
That phrase has rolled over and over in my mind.
That same day we were in the Atlanta airport on our way home and had a little frustrating experience when the wheelchair accommodations wasn’t at our gate when we arrived and we were concerned that we would miss our connecting flight. That wheelchair was a necessity for Kevin.
Our attendant showed up and he was a 6’10” African-American man who could move through that airport faster than road runner and especially faster than my little short legs could move.
He saw that Kevin was distraught. He hung his head as we pushed our way through the crowds. Frustrated that he could not walk himself. For many years, Kevin has navigated that same airport without any help.
As we waited for an elevator, this tall drink of water (as my mama would say), had words of wisdom that stuck with me as well.
“Mister, I don’t know what you are going through…but this is temporary. This wheelchair is temporary.”
Our family has engaged in talks about that over and over in the last 2 weeks of being home. The hurdles that we have gone through with pain, blood clots and totally depleted energy, numbness in feet and hands, lack of taste buds…are only Temporary.
I am not an extreme early riser. Anything before 6AM is just out of obligation or emergency. Last week, every morning I would wake up at 5:38am. At that same exact time…every morning…for 5 days.
So Saturday morning, I asked the Lord if there was something significant about 5:38? He said, “Get up and I’ll show you.”
Chapter 5 of Luke is filled with Jesus finding his first disciples, healing the paralyzed man and healing the man with Leprosy. Those were pretty big miracles if you ask me!
But at verse Luke 5:38 it says…
“New wine must be stored in new wineskins.”
A new normal.
God is teaching us something new about His Word and what He wants to do. But the wineskins have to be different than it was before.
The commentary in my Bible says the following:
“Avoid imposing past traditional structures on present renewals. Understand that yesterday structures and forms are often incapable of handling today’s dynamic of spiritual renewal.”
In my interpretation, I heard that I couldn’t rely on the teachings I have had before to get me through what God was going to bring my way in this new season. Don’t get me wrong God will use those teachings, but I can’t rely totally on that wisdom because God is wanting me to daily search Him for new wisdom.
Oh buddy, are the wineskins of our entire family being changed to hold the new wine that God is wanting to reveal to us.
The question has come up several times in reflective moments from my girls…
“Mommy, why did God choose us to have cancer?”
My answer does not have any theological profound assumptions associated with it.
“I don’t know.” I reply. “But I can tell you He knows what our faith can handle and my faith and yours looks totally different than it did last May. I feel closer to God than I ever have.” They all agreed.
The verse of Luke 5:37 has such significance as well.
“37-And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. 38- New wine must be stored in new wineskins.”
Have you ever spilt milk as a child…or even as an adult? It’s embarrassing…but also you realize you’ve just wasted that milk all over the floor.
I don’t want God to show me something new about who He is, or about a great work that He is wanting to teach me and spill it out like milk spilt at our dinner table. Useless.
So this week I am examining what my wineskin looks like and what God desires to do to change it. Is it able to hold the New Wine that Jesus is wanting to pour into it? What does your wineskin look like? Is it able to hold the new wine or will it burst?
(On a total side note…there is not another new testament book in the Bible past Luke with 5:38!…TOTALLY GOD!)
Keep those prayers coming! We have had GREAT PROGRESS in the last 2-3 days with Kevin gaining more strength and energy…Kevin has walked up the driveway a couple of times. Last night we all sat at the dinner table together for the first time since May. We laughed…giggled and played our silly dinner table games. It was precious!
These are the milestones that we are so grateful for each day.
Homeschooling is going great! Better than I had expected. That doesn’t mean there aren’t tough moments, but we are learning lots about God’s grace and our grace with each other through those moments. The Almighty is so good! We see His confirmation in this decision for this season through so many signs in the last couple of weeks. We are blown away!
Love you Prayer Warriors!
Here is a song by Chris August that we sometimes just have to play really loud! It reminds us that God is right there with us through the things we see and the things we don’t see. Hope it blesses you!