There is a sense of awe and wonder when we experience something great and majestic. That’s the feeling that I had when seeing a giant sequoia tree for the very first time. While visiting Sequoia National Park a number of years ago, I had the privilege of walking among the many giant trees that reside there. It is difficult to really understand how big these trees are unless you experience them firsthand. These giants can reach the height of 275 feet with a trunk diameter of 36 feet at ground level. That requires 20 people with their arms extended to surround the tree (113 feet around). The largest of them all is a sequoia named General Sherman. It is considered the largest tree in the world with a trunk volume of 52,508 cubic feet. That's over 410 cords for the benefit of those who heat with wood. Amazing!
How long did it take these massive trees to grow so large? It has been estimated that the General Sherman tree may be nearly 2700 years old. That means that this tree was still well over 2,000 years old when Columbus set foot in America. It was 700 years old when Jesus walked the earth. And, it was already 100 years old when King Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon. You've heard the expression, "if the walls could talk!" Well, if this tree could talk it would have a lot to say, because during its life span much has happened in our world. A lot of change has taken place.
Time changes things! A lush forest becomes a charred landscape after a fire. New cars eventually become old cars. A wealthy person loses everything, and a poor man becomes rich. A world class athlete has an accident which puts her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. You may be sad today and happy tomorrow. You are not the same person today that you were when you were a child. Yes, time changes things, and it also impacts how we think about life. Change can be both good and bad. Most of us prefer the former and dislike the later. Sometimes we have no control over change. Change is very much a part of life for everyone and everything. This is true, even for the majestic old giant sequoia, General Sherman.
If we had the power to control change in our lives, we would choose something better than what we have or are experiencing now. That's because God has put within each of us a desire for something more, something greater. We were made for a relationship with Him, and He alone can satisfy our longings. Because God is perfect in every way (Deuteronomy 32:4), and He knows our every need (Matthew 6:25-34), we can always trust and depend on Him. He never changes! Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that, “Jesus Christ in the same yesterday, today, and forever”.