“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 ESV
The New Year is upon us. It seems 2015 went almost as quickly as it came. What will you carry with you into 2016? Is it something you should really leave in 2015? Are there old hurts and disappointments better left in the past? Are there relationships that need to be mended so the New Year begins fresh? It can be hard to make the first move to rectify, forgive and let go. But what happens when we don’t make the effort? In my experience, bitterness takes root and what was a sweet and sunny disposition turns sour.
I know how hard it is to find the right words to start the conversation that leads to letting go. I struggle to say the words that need to be said in tough situations. In my head I make up all the rebuttals of the other person. And it always ends up with me making the situation even worse. So I keep quiet and that bitter root winds its way deeper.
This year I acknowledged a dream I had nurtured for years would not be realized. It’s time had come and gone and I had not taken the proper action. It was painful and sadly, I blamed someone else. The truth is that I was afraid to trust the power of God. My faith was lacking. I often tell people to trust God and he will be their provision. I believe that. But when my faith test came, I failed.
Thankfully, God allows do-overs and failure most often isn’t fatal. Painful perhaps, but not fatal. Embarrassing most times, but not fatal. Hard for sure, but not fatal. So, I am picking myself up, dusting myself off and working on a new dream.
In the meantime, I’m taking courage and having a long overdue conversation with the ones I blamed. It’s not easy, but I choose not to drag the baggage of the past into this brand new year. I choose to release the pain and disappointment and unforgiveness.
I choose to clean out this old wineskin so the new experiences of 2016 have a fresh place to land. And fear has no place because I know God is with me. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Selah…
God with us, thank you that you are a God who forgives. Please give us courage to lay aside every weight that does so easily beset us. Give us strength to persevere in running the race you will so graciously and mercifully set before us in 2016. Thank you for new beginnings.
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Your turn: Is it time for you to ask God for a clean heart so all He has for you in 2016 can be received as He intends? Join me in praying that 2016 is truly a happy new year for all of us. ~ Andrea