But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. –Psalm 92:12 (NLT)
Most of us are aware of two of the biggest species of trees on the earth: The Giant Sequoias and the Redwoods.
Here are a few brief but fascinating facts about these giants:
- They can grow to over 300 feet tall.
- They can live for several THOUSAND years!
- They weigh upwards of 500 tons (1 million pounds).
- Their bark can be anywhere from 12-36 inches thick.
As impressive as all of this is, here are some even more amazing facts:
- The Giant Sequoias rely on fire to survive—both to destroy competing vegetation and to help promote seed release from their cones.
- The trees produce a substance known as tannin, which helps protect the bark from fire, bug attacks, and disease.
- The root system of the Redwood is very shallow, despite the trees massive height and weight. They survive by entangling with each other beneath the ground—thus holding each other upright.
So, what can we, as followers of Christ, learn from these natural wonders?
- We too often need to endure fires in our life to draw closer to God.
- Competition for the Son’s light in our lives (such as worldly wants, desires, and lusts) need to be destroyed first so we can grow. Also, despite the fact the trials/fires aren’t pleasant when we’re going through them, sometimes new life must begin through the ashes (1Peter 4:12-13 & 5:10).
- Just like the tannin, which protects, we must DAILY put on the full armor of God to protect us against fires, attacks, and spiritual disease (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- We must rely on other believers as well to help hold us up when we feel like falling. This could be in any form of accountability, mentorship, and/or fellowship (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Finally, and probably most important of all, is the Redwood’s ability to regenerate itself to continue existence.
Here is a portion of an article I read recently:
One of the keys to the survival of the Redwood is its regenerative abilities. One of the regenerative capabilities of the Redwood involves the burl. A burl is made up of dormant Redwood stems, and is covered in bark. A burl grows when a Redwood is cut, damaged, injured, or diseased. A burl is a lumpy outgrowth from the tree’s trunk, often at its base. Saplings may sprout from these burls. The trees which result from growth originating in a burl are genetically identical to the original tree.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:17 that “a good tree bears good fruit”. Therefore, if we are walking solid with the Lord and within His statutes, the natural byproduct will be another generation of strong Christian disciples, including our own children; thus, ensuring our legacy and impact on the world—even after we’ve left this life for the next.