New Wineskins


Hi folks.  This is the first post by contributing blogger Susan Isham. Enjoy.

*****

I don’t really know what I want to blog about. I haven’t blogged in 2 years. I closed my blog because no one was reading it or commenting on it and it didn’t seem to be as much fun after that. Plus, I seemed to blog about personal topics, sometimes, that could get my friends and family into some hot water, or me into hot water for immortalizing them in print. Like the time that… Oh, never mind.

Recently, I tried to pull up my old blog. The site was discontinued and my old material is all gone. I hoped to be inspired by a topic or an idea spurred from reviewing old writing. But alas, it was not to be. So here I am. Tired, enjoying the early morning quiet and the prospect of coffee.

Hoped to be inspired after my run today, but even that was a bust. I seem to be drawn into the Lord’s presence more and more, which means mornings, which means less running. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but I kinda miss running. I still run, but not as far and not as often. The Lord appears to be filling me in a way he didn’t before, at least not for a long time. For a long season, the only place I met Him was on my runs. This is not to say I am a pantheist or any other –ist, but His presence, His love, was ever so near as my feet hit the concrete and I breathed the sweet morning air in and out, in and out. I got revelations and new perspectives on things as my fat cried out (sweating!). I had more creativity and less anxiety or worry about controlling things, making sure deadlines and tasks were accomplished. It was pretty darn great. And all my clothes fit.

And, of course, I raced quite a bit. Last summer I ran 3 half marathons back to back, one a month. It officially qualified me to enter the ranks of the Half Fanatics, a crazy group of half marathoners. Yet I never paid the fee to officially join. The money never seemed to be there when I wanted to do it, and then it seemed like doing it for myself, because I enjoyed it, was enough.

It took me a long time to realize the fact that God was not meeting me at the usual watering holes – preaching, worship, prayer . I confessed any sin I could think of, looked at the Bible (some), worshiped on my own. Nothing was coming to me. I felt lost and alone. Had I missed God? Did I zig and He zagged?

A few months back, we visited Portland and since we were there on a Sunday, hit up one of our old pastor’s new churches. He got laid off and started a home church. This was a church built out of spending time abiding in the presence of Jesus. That’s it. No hip worship, or awesome preaching. They met in the cafeteria of a local grade school. Linoleum floors, halogen lighting, all that. Pastor Charlie is a charismatic guy, full of fun and stories and kindness. But it wasn’t his personality drawing people. It was the Lord.

What struck me was how informal it all was. Charlie’s wife, Lori, gave the message. It seemed that the floor was open to whoever had a word for that week. I don’t remember her message but one thing she said stood out. “Since I’m in a wilderness season, I didn’t get much”. And it clicked. Yeah. What I have is enough, and it’s not my fault it’s not better and flowing more and everything. We want God to fit into

our box and live by our rules. And He doesn’t, never will. He’s sovereign.

I’m learning to discern the seasons of my life. It’s a good thing.

–SEI

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