Intertwining Roots -- The Redwoods

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.   (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

You probably know that the giant redwood trees grow only on the West coast of America. No place else on this earth. My wife and I drove out o one of those groves while traveling between Sacramento and San Francisco.

The strength and size of those trees are stunning. They are giants... standing so close together that their branches seem to filter the sun right out of the day, and their towering tops brush the clouds from the sky.

If that seems too poetic ... go stand there yourself. The majesty of it all demands talk in whispers between the long moments of silent staring.

And in your heart you keep repeating, "Only God..."

Most of the trees have burn and char scars, recalling difficulties past.

Some even have huge caverns carved out of their middles by gutting fires

... so big that two or three people can stand inside ... but they still grow, so full of life they can't be killed. And that makes all the scars seem unimportant.

We wandered over to the tree that Colonel Armstrong discovered. It towered 308 feet over us. That's more than 30 stories tall! It's been alive 1,400 years, which means that when Columbus discovered America, that tree was already 900 years old.

It's as if one day God said, "I think I'll build a tree. Who cares if it takes 500 years or a thousand or whatever. I just want a tree.

Who's counting?" Don't you suppose that He has some of the same patience with your growth? Character takes time ... and scars. But God keeps going for the ultimate and that's part of what He meant when He said, "And he shall be like a tree."

So what's the secret of the redwood? How can it last so long and endure so much? Unlike the palm tree whose tap root goes down into the ground as deep as the tree is tall (30 feet up... 30 feet down), the redwood has no tap root at all. That's why you never see a redwood standing alone.


They are always in clusters ... in groups called groves. The might of the tree is not in itself. Here is its strength ...for every foot in height it grows up, the redwood tree sends its roots, not down, but three times that distance ...OUT!

That's right... OUT!

If the tree is 300 feet tall, its roots go 900 feet out ... intertwining with all the groping roots from the other redwoods in the grove. By the time a few hundred years go by, those fellow-shipping roots are so woven with one another, there is no way a tree could fall down. It is held up by the strength of its brothers and sisters.

So how long will you grow? How tall will you be? What trials will be yours? Who's counting? I just heard God say, "I think I'll build a tree...and he shall not stand alone." What a beautiful picture of the church. Alone we are vulnerable and can easily fall, but together, our lives woven and intertwined and through time strengthen each other and support each other. So together we stand, scars and all, bound by the love of the Savior.

I {Jesus} am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father--that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.   (John 17:20-21 NLT)

[ Author Unknown -- from "The Christian Herald" (, via 'Good Tidings' ]


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