Gateway Church Fareham


Trees are special…

When I was a boy, I was given a Book called Wonders of the World. It was full of black and white photo prints. One, in particular, caught my attention, it was of a car being driven through a ‘tunnel’ cut through the trunk of a massive tree, somewhere in North America. Now that must be some tree, a sight to behold, I thought, “love to see that!!” 

Fast forward to Yosemite National Park, in North America some 55 years later. Joan and I were privileged to see a similar one in the same area, it took our breath away. 

 The Sequoia is big, it matures: 
> at 340 feet high = Portsmouth Millennium Tower is 560 feet
>at 30 feet in diameter = approximately 5 times the height of Chris Lubbe
> at 1200 tons = 30 times 40-ton full shipping containers

Trees figure a lot in the Bible from Genesis, “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” …. to Revelation, “Tree of Life”.  

People are likened to trees in terms of strength, majesty, beauty… etc! Worth a study? 

The Lord taught me some lessons from this tree which I would like to share with you. 

The Seed 

The cone is 1.5″-2″ long and the seed has a wing (see picture) and is about this size . 

Isn’t it amazing when you see the size of the tree? God’s handiwork!! 

Unless the seed germinates it remains a seed. To germinate it requires the right conditions. For years scientists tried to cultivate the seed with no success. Then it was discovered that the seed needs a wildfire to open the cones. The bark (up to 3ft thick) protects the trunk, and ash provides the nutriments for the seed to germinate and grow. 

Sometimes we sow small seeds of encouragement, they make a Big Difference – the gospel in word and action. 

Compare the Sequoia seed with the mature tree. We just need to be faithful…God gives the increase!! 

Sometimes in times of adversity, (wildfires in our lives), God uses them, to do a new thing in us, or enable a change of direction!! 

The Roots 
The soil where these trees grow is relatively shallow, up to 12 feet deep. Unlike most trees the sequoia does not have a large taproot instead, it sends out radial roots up to 200 feet away from its centre. On its own, it would be vulnerable to strong winds. These trees thrive best in groups because of their ‘Knees’?! which make their bases wider and more importantly, their roots, which intertwine over and under the roots of adjacent trees. This matting of roots enables the trees to support one another. 

In the same way, God intends that we as church mutually support one another as a family and in Life Groups. Also, to look outwards.  What about our knees?! 

The Purpose 
The Sequoia tree is just one of many things created by God that is amazing and definitely has the WOW factor and created for the display of HIS splendour. 

They shall be called “Oaks of righteousness” a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendour.  Isaiah 61 v 3b. 

John Ansell 


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