(A Letter of Praise and Thankfulness from Pam Korgan, SYNC Program Director)
Dear sisters, so beloved of the Lord –
Recently I had the pure joy of hiking among the Giant Sequoias. The majesty of the forest refreshed my spirit and I found myself singing praises.
“Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made …
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee. How great thou art, how great thou art…”
Some of these gentle giants are more than 2,300 years old which means they were standing tall when Christ walked the earth! Along the trail, instead of the usual chatter there was a bush among the group- no doubt awestruck with reverence for the beauty of creation.
As I pondered the things we were learning about these beautiful trees that have stood the test of time, I began to see a message to me. First, the Sequoias are protected from the onslaught of the beetle which has devastated many fir trees in the forest. Its protection is from a chemical in the bark. Because the heart of the tree, the trunk is protected by bark, the entire tree will withstand the attack of enemy beetles. It seemed the Spirit was saying directly to my heart, “Pam as long as you wear your entire armor of protection, the attacks of the enemy will not harm you.”
“He will protect you like a bird spreading its wings over its young.
His truth will be like your armor and shield.” Psalms 91:4
“Wear the full armor of God. Wear God’s armor so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.” Ephesians 6:11
The next message to me was when I learned that fire is actually good for the Sequoias. Fire heats up the cones, opening them, allowing the seeds to germinate . Wow– how many times do we feel the heat of a difficult situation and wish we didn’t have to endure it? Looking at the firestorms in our lives with the perspective of God allowing us to endure, producing new growth gives me a greater trust in his sovereignty. Do I truly believe without any doubt that our God is in control, has a plan for our lives, and nothing is too hard for him? Yes, God calls me to claim his promises and trust him completely.
“He will be like someone who heats and purifies silver. He will purify the Levites.
He will make them pure like gold and silver.” Malech 3:3
” I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” Isaiah 48:10
“When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze
for I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2&3
The third part of this message was that these giants can hardly be killed by anything EXCEPT wind. WIND! One can’t even see it – an invisible enemy! Though the trees are tall and have lived long, though they can withstand insects, fire, even flood, what can kill within hours is wind. Why? Because Sequoias do not grow a deep tap root. Their root balls are typically quite shallow. As followers who bear the name of Christ, we are encouraged again and again to go deep into the word of God, to build our lives on a firm foundation, to be grounded in prayer, and seek living water.
“It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock.
When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.” Luke 6:48
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17&18
Sisters, I need to take to heart Hebrews 12:25, “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.” God’s promise is to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), so let us be about the business of Hebrews 10:15, encouraging one another! God is encouraging me by promising protection from enemy assaults as long as I wear all his armor. He’s telling me not to lose heart when I get in a hot spot. Above all, I need to sink my tap root deep in his word, in his love, and in prayer. I am thankful for each of you!!!
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18