How Wood Burns

The Book of Godly Encouragement, II

The Lord Jesus prayed to his Father that we would become one in him. Not just one with one another, but one among ourselves and one with him. Of this we have a clear natural example in fire.

When fire begins to burn a pile of wood, it begins to transform it. It takes the cold, the dampness and heaviness out of the wood. It rounds off its rough edges. The longer the wood is in the fire, the more it becomes like the fire, but neither wood nor fire can be at rest until its light and heat have consumed the wood completely.

Until that happens there is constant protest. The wood sizzles, snaps, pops, and cracks until the last difference between it and the fire has disappeared. Then the noise, the flames and smoke die down, and only coals remain, glowing red in perfect unity.

In this we can see why we are still so troubled and without comfort in life. We are still too unlike God and too taken up with the things of this world.

Heinrich Seuse, ca. 1295-1366, Schwaben, Germany

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