Have you ever seen a Giant Sequoia?
I was a 12 year old boy in this awkward phase of discovering fashion, so naturally I was wearing this delightful salmon shirt that was as about as far from fashion as we were from Ireland.
Ireland is where I’m from by the way, but on this particular year the Hastings family had decided to vacation along the west Coast of California, and after a long winded winding drive, we found ourselves pulling into the glorious Eden of Yosemite National Park.
Have you ever been? You should. It’s your favourite Microsoft screensaver, but in real life.
We parked, threw our bags in this quaint, quirky inn and rushed out the door to explore a paradise of colour. The deepest greens you have ever seen, water falling in the bluest of blues and dirt trails of adventure and sepia tones that we ran until we ran out of breath. As my brother and I stopped to catch some air, giving our parents a chance to catch us, I remember slowly lifting my head and for the first time stretching my eyes across the grandeur of a Giant Sequoia. It was the biggest thing I had ever seen. Effortlessly scraping the sky, but as wide as the highway that had brought us here, and with my eyes in even wider wonder I stood; my neck stretched back as far as it would go, engulfed in shadow and ancient magnificence.
I wonder if you’ve ever had a similar moment. Perhaps gazing up at a monument of nature or the biggest man-made landmark in your hometown.
For me, when I look at something of such enormity, I can’t help but feel like it’s been there forever.
In Sydney we have The Harbour Bridge. A masterpiece of design and engineering which I have the joy of sitting upon, in traffic everyday (I guess if you’re gonna sit in traffic there are worse views). But I can’t get my mind around the idea that there was a time when it didn’t exist. It’s hard to imagine the Sydney Harbour without it and yet my wife’s Great Grandma Phyllis (105 and as cheeky as ever!) was already a teenager when it was first opened.
I think in the same way, I’ve sometimes viewed God’s promises like that. Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever looked at the fulfilment of His faithfulness in someone else’s life and wondered…
“Where’s my Harbour Bridge?”
“Where’s that wife I heard you whisper?”
“Where’s the materialisation of that thing I know you put in my heart?”
If there is anything I know to be true of God it’s that He’s true to His word. But He’s also very okay with the process. Was the Harbour Bridge airlifted into place? Well no… of course not… Even the three thousand year old Sequoia, was once a seed.
I think Jesus is the perfect example of this. In the Song ‘Seasons’ from ‘The Peace Project‘ there is a line that sings…
“You could have saved us in a second, instead you sent a Child”.
We serve a God of the “Long Game”. Does He have the capacity to airlift the Harbour Bridge of our promise into place? Of course He does! And sometimes, He does. But if we can attribute trends to God (which we probably can’t) I’ve noticed that God often chooses something else: “The Jesus Model”.
From Bethlehem’s soil
Grew Calvary’s Sequoia
He takes His Word and He plants it like a seed in our lives. Watching and watering until it grows and ever so slowly but inevitably blooms into glorious fulfilment. And I think if we look for it, this divine methodology is written into everything from the narrative of the Bible to the beauty of creation.
Oh how nature acquaints us
With the nature of Patience.