Muir Woods was one of our favorite places to take visitors. The awesome beauty and majesty of the redwoods surrounded by the mossy trails always brought a sense of peace and inspiration. What a testimony of God’s marvelous creation! Looking at these magnificent trees, truly the largest living thing on earth, provides inspiration enough, but knowing the mystery behind these trees reveals so many spiritual lessons for all of us.
First of all, the redwoods require an abundant supply of water. They must take in plentiful nourishment on a consistent basis or they will fail to thrive. As believers, ignoring our need to drink daily from the living water is certain to stunt our spiritual growth, but resupplying our spiritual roots daily through prayer and Bible study keeps us vital and effective.
Secondly , the redwoods are highly resistant to fire, indeed seemingly indestructible. Their cones, which may take only two years to mature but contain up to 200 seeds, await heat from a fire to open and release their seeds. This produces regrowth within a year. Believers are told to expect fiery trials which will test us (I Peter 4:12), and the fire will reveal our work for what it is (I Cor. 3:13). In this is the divine plan so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (Jas. 1:4). What a perfect opportunity to use our trials to become the catalyst for maturing us in Christ and grow us in new ways~to use our scars to tell our story.
Lastly, contrary to popular assumption, the roots of the gigantic redwood trees do not grow deep but spread under the surface as much as three times the height of the tree, intertwining with the groping roots from the other redwoods in the grove. After a couple hundred years, these root systems are so interwoven, there is no way a tree could fall down. Such a significant parallel to our need for fellowship, indeed unity, among believers. As David ascribes in Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Or as Paul urges in Galatians 6:2 to “bear each other’s burdens,” by which our love provides strength to hold each other up.
This was the true testimony of the OPWF Inspirational Weekend 2017~a beautiful grove of redwoods~400 strong holding up their sisters in Christ. Oh, may we continue to grow unified in strength and maturity and love.
~ Contributed by Nancy Vance