A Lesson and Prayer Inspired by Redwood Trees

Posted on: April 3rd, 2012 by Kay Swatkowski

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

-Psalm 1 NIV

Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world.  In 1978, when our daughter Jennifer was only a year old, we took a trip to the Redwood Forest of California.  The height and width of the trees was overwhelming.  Walking through a maze of these massive trees, it seemed unreal, almost eerie as if in a movie about primitive life.  My husband took a picture of Jen and I standing in front of a redwood and we looked like toy dolls against their incredible height.

Did you know that these massive trees have a shallow root system?  Six to twelve feet seems hardly adequate to keep these towering trees upright.  It isn’t the depth of the roots that matter with redwoods. It is the intermingling of the roots with other redwoods and sometimes with other trees.  Their maze of roots provide a firm foundation and source of strength for the entire grove of trees.  In addition, they share nutrients from one tree to the other through their root systems.  The trees closest to a water source can share the life giving moisture with trees yards away.

Without this intricate root systems, redwoods would die.

In Psalm 1, the Psalmist told us that a godly person is like a tree planted by the water.  It is constantly nourished and its leaves never wither.  In the case of the redwood, the tree planted by the water can also share that vitality with others.

As I think of the condition of our world, the great needs that exist, the concerns I have for my children and grandchildren I have two consuming prayers today:

  • That they would plant their roots firmly into the soil of God’s Love and receive all the nourishment their soul’s need.
  • That their roots would be intertwined with other believers so that when they feel far from the life-giving water, there will be people who love them who will share this nourishment and strength.

The picture of the redwoods –tall, stately,strong,  providing shade and shelter – remind me of what I want for our family. I pray that each of our grandchildren will grow to be like the “blessed man” of Psalm 1.

Let’s Pray

  • that our grandchildren will find stability as they anchor themselves in God’s love
  • that our grandchildren will take seriously their responsibility to put themselves in a place of nourishment
  • that our grandchildren will delight in God’s law
  • that our grandchildren will meditate on God’s law
  • that our grandchildren will flourish because they are receiving the Living Water Jesus promised
  • that our grandchildren will be fruitful people
  • that our grandchildren will not wither under the pressures of life, but be vibrant and alive
  • that our grandchildren will prosper spiritually, emotionally and in relationships
  • that our grandchildren will develop support systems that will  keep them strong, stable and upright during the storms of life
  • that they will share the life giving nourishment they receive with others

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for your incomprehensible creativity and power that we see in nature.  We thank you for the intricacy of how each plant, tree, flower, animal and person is made and for the messages and truths your design reveals to us.  Father, we pray today that our grandchildren will be like the “blessed man” of Psalm 1.  May they drink in the wonders of your Word and may they be firmly anchored in the soil of your love.  We pray today for their friendships and mentors.  May they establish such a healthy bond that even in difficult times they will find strength and nourishment.  May they prosper and bring glory to your name.  Amen




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7 Responses

  1. Virgie says:

    Great thoughts. I just read, somewhere during the last couple of days, but can’t remember exactly where, about how parts of the redwood fall to the ground giving nurishment to all kinds of vegetation around it.
    Isn’t GOD’s creation the greatest!
    Virgie

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  3. Kelsie says:

    Kay,
    I feel more “stable” since my roots went down near you.

  4. Margaret Earnest says:

    I too have experienced the awesome power and strength of the redwoods. I pray that we will see for ouselves the many benefits of our connectedness and live for Him more aware of the needs of those connected to us.

  5. Rebecca Hansen says:

    This is so great, thank you for giving these nourishing words.

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