The shifting seasons of life are beautiful, and in my corner of Southwest Wisconsin, it is natural to look forward to the changing of the seasons. In addition to the physical realm, the spiritual realm also undergoes seasons of change; but, “if you don’t recognize the season, then you won’t let go of the old season to embrace the new,” (Mike Majeski). I believe this is somewhat due to the fact that we are sentimental people who are resistant to change. We crave routine, we set high expectations for normality, and we like to keep a relative degree of control over our circumstances. But if not changing is a litmus test for not growing, then perhaps we’ve set ourselves up for disappointment.
Isaiah also exhorts us with this theme, to:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth! Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
It is akin to the metaphor of a butterfly breaking free from its chrysalis, transformed into a new thing of beauty, the epitome of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Another parallel metaphor lies within the imagery of pouring new wine into new wine skins. Because old wineskins would eventually stretch out, they would not have the integrity to hold a new batch of wine. They would also become brittle and hard. I can relate to the old wineskin: I can feel stretched to the limit and unable to hold any more shifts in my schedule. And then my attitude can grow rigid, brittle, and hard—the opposite of tender. I resist the added volume of the unexpecteds of life and refuse to be molded and shaped into a new vessel, fit for new wine. I resist the fresh move of God and what the Holy Spirit wants to do in my life now, because the old wineskin is just so familiar, so comfortable. But that old skin is what the Holy Spirit did in the last season. He wants me to release the old so that He can pour into me His Word, fresh and new for this now season.
And in the middle of it all, He remains the same.