I grew up in a wonderful land that was inhabited by giants, many of whom were hundreds of years old; a land of six rivers that flowed into the ocean along a wild and rugged coastline; a land of giant ferns and colorful azaleas and wild blackberries. How I loved it there and how I hated to leave when, the day after I finished my junior year of high school, we had to move away from the cool, lush giant redwood forests of Northern California to the hot, dry deserts of Southern California. Even now, more than forty years later, that land still calls to me and I can think of few things I’d rather do than wander through the redwoods in the quiet stillness of a misty fog and soak up the beauty and majesty of God’s creation.
One of the trees along the famous Avenue of the Giants is the ancient Immortal Tree. Over 950 years old and big enough to build several homes, it has survived lightning strikes, fire, a logger’s axe and a horrible flood—and all of this in just the last 100 years. On this occasion, rather that just stopping in front, snapping a few pictures, and buying out the gift store I wandered down a path that led around to the back of the tree and stood in awe as I gazed at a living illustration of one of my favorite scriptures, Psalm 1:1-3. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Lord, may I be like that Immortal Tree. May I be forever planted beside your river of living water; standing in faith against the trials of life, bringing forth the fruit of your Spirit in my life and enjoying the bounty of blessings that you have laid up for me.