Tiny. That is what it felt like walking among redwood trees. I was mesmerized and somewhat overwhelmed by these giants. I never imagined that I would feel dwarfed by trees!
The redwoods are not just any trees though.
Redwood trees are said to be the tallest trees on earth. Think very, very tall. The Save the Redwoods League states that the tallest redwood tree recorded is 316 feet tall. That is as tall as a 31- story building. It is no surprise then that the redwoods are touted as nature’s skyscrapers (Redwoods Treewalk).
These trees are so resilient that they are able to survive after confrontations with natural disasters (National Park Service). Be it massive floods or forest fires, snowstorms or scorching heat, redwood trees are very likely to be found standing.
The redwood trees remind me of our faith. If we are firmly rooted in Jesus, our faith carries us through the different seasons of life. Life on earth can be challenging. Depression, anxiety, peer pressure, or just the very need to survive can be a huge strain on a person. At times, it is a matter of life and death.
Come what may, with Jesus there, we can find ourselves standing. As mentioned in Ephesian chapter 6, verse 13, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The remarkable thing about redwoods is that they do not just survive, they thrive where they stand.
These giant trees do not have deep roots (California Department of Parks and Recreation). Surprising, isn’t it? Their roots may not go deep, but redwood trees roots are intertwined with each other. Some of these roots even merge to become one. They do this to create stability and become each other’s support system.
Similarly, believers are not an island. We are called to gather together and be each other’s cheerleaders in this race we are running. Hebrews chapter 10, verse 25 tells us that we “should not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching”.
Redwood trees do not just support their own kind. They are host and shelter for different flora and fauna. Chad Machinski, in his article for Our City Forest, aptly calls this “The forest within the forest”.
In short, don’t get comfortable in those church pews! Yes, there is so much nourishment for the spirit man when believers gather. However, we have a mission. The great commission to be exact. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew chapter 28, verses 19 – 20). We are called to live for and share about Jesus where He has planted us. A church that ceases to do this is what we call a building.
That which will last
“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; Only what’s done for Christ will last.” (C. T. Studd)
This refrain from Studd’s poem reminds us what our ultimate goal is. When we are able to grasp that only what is done for Christ will last, we have found purpose for our existence. We will not just survive in a rat race world. We will thrive. Our one life can bring glory to Him. Our short existence can bear fruit by investing in eternity.
As majestic as the redwood trees are, they may be surviving and thriving here today but gone tomorrow, victims in the hands of mankind. On the other hand, we can choose Jesus and spend eternity with Him. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans chapter 10, verse 9)
I choose Jesus and all that which will last. What about you?
Mussita Ng is a follower of Jesus Christ from Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mussita-ng.html