Our pastor used a great illustration several months ago. He told about the redwood trees found in Northern California. Greg and I know all about the redwoods because this is where Greg and I pastored a small church for 3 1/2 years in the early 90’s.
Redwood trees are the largest trees in the world. So large that you can drive a car through them – and in fact there is a tree with a hole cut out of it where a car COULD drive through – we’ve been there to see it. But something very strange about these trees – their roots are actually very shallow – only a couple of meters deep. You would think that for trees this size – the root system would wind down for hundreds of feet and they would be very strong and invincible. But they are not. They are very vulnerable by themselves. Their real strength comes from the other trees. They act as a barrier and protection when close together.
We have much to learn from these massive beautiful trees. They appear so strong and stable. But they have a weakness. And like the trees, so do we. We cannot stand alone. Oh I guess we CAN – but we SHOULD not. We need each other. We are fragile – like these trees.
Who are you close to? Do you have anyone in your life that acts as a barrier and protection? Who has your back?
We started a small group in our home with other like-minded and fragile people. As we share our stories of joy and pain – it is good to know that we were never meant to do life alone. We need each other. I need support and help from my brothers and sisters – those who can share my everyday battles, opportunities and circumstances – but who also have my back when life goes sideways – giving support and holding me close, offering assistance and encouragement to keep me from giving up – or from falling over – like a tree.
I’m thankful for the people who God has placed in my life and along my journey to help to encourage me, lift me up and be there to protect and love me – when I mess up, get it wrong and need a little extra grace. My friends – the trees in my life.