Sunday, February 23, 2014

Part 22: Time in the Barrel (Luke 5:38)

But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. (Luke 5:38 NASB)

First fermentation, first racking, second fermentation, second racking. It's a long process and takes weeks. At the end of second racking, the wine is still not ready to drink. Some wine (particularly red wines) need further maturation. The wine cannot stay in the fermentation vat to be matured. It must be transferred again, this time to oak barrels where it will be allowed to remain until bottling. The maturing process requires that the wine sit. The winemaker is not obviously working on the wine. Everything appears quiet in this section of the winery. 

It may be quiet, but something vital is happening. Enfolded in the confines of the oak, the wine is nestled safely inside, where it gradually begins to acquire a change in flavor due to the oak itself. Its flavor deepens and expands. The wine is richer, has a deeper bouquet and taste due to its time in the barrel. At the end of its stay there, often as much as twenty years, the value of the wine has been greatly increased by the time of quiet. 

That principle is true for achieving maturity as believers, as well. It is in the quiet times, spent nestled in the loving arms of our Father, that we grow, and develop depth and richness of spirit. It is where He develops us and we begin to take on the flavor of our Lord. What a beautiful gift to be so infused by the presence of God that those around us can sense the aroma and taste the flavor of Christ! 

How strong is the aroma of Christ in you? Do you need more quiet "barrel time" with our Lord? 

Pray today that we will invest enough time with our Lord that the evidence of it is obvious to those around us, especially those we love. Pray, too, that the depth achieved will be so attractive that our loved ones will want it for themselves.