“From the crickets in the bushes to the frogs in the creek,
a heart one with Yours is the thing we seek…
From the beavers in the river to the critters that climb,
shape us into a spotless Bride…”
This was the prayer that Elijah the eagle sang while soaring over the Western Woods. As Elijah would soon find out, his prayer was about to be answered. The hour was urgent, and Jesus had summoned a group of messengers to a council at the oak tree where Elijah’s nest was located. From the world’s perspective, these messengers were foolish, therefore unqualified; from God’s perspective, they were foolish, therefore usable. Fire was coming to the Western Woods—the fire of testing and discipline. Jesus’ family in the Western Woods needed to be warned and prepared. Nothing false or deceitful would be able to withstand the fire. Its outcome would be purity; its fruit, unity. Though fierce and unrelenting, this fire would be motivated not by malice, but by love—a love that could only make sense in light of the big picture; a love defined not in terms of comfort and absence of difficulty, but in terms of suffering before glory.
“Those whom I love, I discipline.” How would the creatures of the Western Woods respond to these words of Jesus? How will we?