Monday, February 10, 2014

Part 9: The Seething (Luke 5:37)

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. (Luke 5:37 NASB)

France, known for its wine production, had a problem. The French winemakers had spoilage of their wine, but didn't know why. In the mid-1800's, the idea of fermentation was not yet understood. What they knew was that, after the crushing, the must would "boil", "seethe", or be "troubled".  They knew the process of troubling the wine was essential, but didn't know what made "good" troubling that led to quality wine production and what made "bad" troubling that led to spoilage. They government hired Louis Pasteur to investigate, and he eventually discovered the process of fermentation. 

The seething or troubling of the wine due to the action of the yeast is good because it is a necessary step in fermentation and a critical part of changing crushed grapes into wine. It doesn't look good, though. It looks as if the grapes are going to be a hopeless loss. Winemaking is not for the faint of heart. It is the perseverance of the winemaker that allows the seething to continue until the yeast have done their work.  

You may be familiar with this process in your loved ones (and likely in yourself as well).  As you watch your loved one experience the crushing, soon followed by seething/boiling/troubling, you may want to give up hope that maturity can ever come out of the mess your eyes can see. Fear not, dear ones. That seething often means that important work is occurring beneath the surface. The winemaker knows that the seething indicates yeast at work, converting sugar into alcohol, and that time is required for completion. Regardless of our fear, time is required for completion of the process of maturity in those we love. 

Pray today that, regardless of appearances, the "seething" will continue until the work of transformation in our loved ones (and in ourselves) is complete. Pray that they will emerge fully matured and free of all sediment in their lives.