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Burdens and Benefits . . .

Burdens and Benefits . . .


Both plant and animal life, from its simplest forms to the most complex, are marvels of design and function. Wood, for instance, is so common and useful we do not even think about its complex nature. Of course, it begins with a tree seed and ends up in products as diverse as fuel, paper, lumber, wood panels, and fine furniture. The material is an arrangement of fibers and chemical elements that give variability in hardness, strength, grain, color, workability, and sometimes aroma and other characteristics.


As the tree grows and adds wood cell-by-cell, it is subjected to a variety of environmental and physical forces . . . such wind, ice, and snow. The very weight of the tree growth causes leaves and branches to be pulled downward by the continuous force of gravity. As the limbs get longer, cell growth responds to the increasing burden by adjusting the wood cell structure. On the upper side of the limb, gravity stretches the cells. This adjustment is called tension wood. As the weight presses downward, the cells forming on the lower side of the limb, form compression wood. The end result is that the limbs are continually strengthened and stabilized to withstand the external forces.


Our life is accompanied by continuing events and circumstances that bring burdens of sadness, depression, gloom, and anxiety to bear. Persecution of our faith may come in forms ranging from mocking and insults to physical pain and even death. Words of the apostle James . . . "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds . . .." James 1:2a (NIV) . . . cause us to wonder what experiences taught him such a perspective. Yet, the outcome of those trials is perseverance and strength.


"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:12 (NIV)


Ray Newbold


Professor of Forestry, (Ret.), Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Writer, OPEN WINDOWS; Deacon--FBC, Ruston; Mission Work: Mexico



eThoughts Team--Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No.02-03RN -- Archived

Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher

Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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