“Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17 NKJV).
Through His word and His actions, we understand how to love those around us. He laid His life down for His bride and we are instructed to do the same for each other in love, honor, care, and respect. In following His lead, our relationships are blessed and our marriages become a beautiful reflection of His love for us.
What started as a simple story about a still life painting came alive with a life-giving miracle. From there it became a testimony of Christ’s love for His people, His bride. Since cherries are known to have cancer healing properties—I believe they symbolize God’s desire and ability to heal and restore our relationships to His divine design. He wants or marriages whole, rewarding, and filled to overflowing with His love. Like beautiful cherry trees in the spring, God wants our marriages blessed, blossoming, and bearing good fruit. Whether newlyweds or celebrating years of marriage—with new wine-skins established—it is neither too soon nor too late for the truest of loves. All things are possible with Christ at the center.
He loves us and wants us to experience His love through our union with each other.
By, Ginger E. Mosher
© All rights reserved by Ginger E. Mosher
Two blossoming cherry branches—sparkling with crystals of sunlit dew—stand together in the vase beside my favorite chair for prayer. As they catch the morning light streaming through the window, I am filled with wonder at the blessings and miracles of God that these two branches represent. There’s a sweet strength in their story of love and marriage to be told, but first a miracle must be shared.
It was past the midnight hour at the hospital, when, in prayer, my son received an unexpected and unexplained vision. We were praying for a miracle for someone who was in a coma with cancer and not expected to live through the night. The vision was of a cherry tree but its meaning was a mystery to everyone except God. The following morning, the person we prayed for not only lived through the night, but woke up—healed of cancer—asking for cherry popsicles, of which he surprisingly ate seven. With grateful hearts, we praised God for this healing miracle and wondered at His mysterious ways with cherry trees.
A few days later, when I saw this precious vase holding two blossoming cherry branches in a local store—I simply had to have it. Every morning it reminds me of God’s miraculous love in our midst and His personal involvement in every moment of our lives and relationships. As I enjoyed its beauty, I also considered the symbolism of the two blossoming branches joined together in one vase being like two individuals coming together in marriage.
The more I thought about it, the more I was inspired to paint “Cherry Blossom Branches” and tell its story of love and marriage. When I blended the background colors on the canvas, its rich, warm hues of light-infused shades of pink made me think of a beautiful wine-colored stain and reminded me a scripture.
“He gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27 NKJV).
Cherry Blossom Branches
In reference to the story of this painting, I could see how this scripture might be applied to our marriages that are often built on faulty foundations and erroneous expectations. These old wineskins simply cannot contain the new sweet wine of true love and intimate fellowship that God intended for us to drink. When God created Adam and said was not good for Him to be alone, He made him a helpmeet—someone to whom Adam could relate and enjoy his life with. (See Genesis 2:18-25) It was love at first sight and a beautiful reflection of the truest of all love stories to come. But like most marriages it had its issues.
As my husband and I celebrate our 28th anniversary of marriage, we praise God that we are still together! Like most newlyweds—when we became one—we brought lots of baggage with us to the marriage. One by one, we had to surrender our issues and our self-centeredness to Christ. We knew He wanted more for us so we turned to Him to be at the center of our love for each other. Because He is the source from which all love flows—our living, loving relationship with Him determines our love for each other. Understanding and experiencing His love softens our hearts to love and respect each other. The transformation process is not easy, but God’s grace—to have faith and hope in Him for a better marriage—sees us through.
His love for us—His beloved bride, the church—is the ideal pattern for all love stories. Christ, himself, describes in detail how we are to love our spouses. (See Ephesians 5:21-33)