(This piece was written by a wonderful woman who helped co-ordinate my Southern California visits. She plays the guitar and the piano – and led people in singing the Song of Thanksgiving for our Rescue twice. I love hearing it these days…as I think it is rising as we look with confidence ahead, turning to God and away from the “We know better than you…” crowd.
Also, if you send me a picture to accompany an article, please send it via a separate picture file. I can’t save pictures embedded in a Word file and use them in these articles – and sometimes lose good photos because of it. Ann had a nice photo here, but it was embedded in the Word document so I was not able to transfer it here.-CJ)
By Ann Dahl
This last week I was blessed to go to the Sierra Mountains and experience the beauty of Yosemite and the Giant Sequoia trees, a place I commune best with God.
It had been a busy summer, and last week I met and listened to Charlie Johnston in Encinitas, California. I was part of the team, and had absorbed a lot of information.
I had much to ponder and as I spent time in the forest. I asked many questions of God: why so much evil, why so little faith, how do we change it, is there truly a storm meant to purify humanity close at hand .. etc.?
I believe He spoke to me in an amazing analogy I would like to share with you.
“Look at the forest, what do you see? It is overgrown. Each tree used to benefit the other, now they fight for limited resources. The variety that gave life, is now strangling it. There has been no natural pruning. It needs a fire. I need to burn away the excess, the overgrowth, to renew my beloved trees.”
Then as I continued to walk alone thru a very remote dense grove of redwoods, I could see a little distance ahead, a bright orange splash of color, hidden among all the smaller trunks.
As I got closer, I could finally see the tree for the forest. There, in front of me, was a Giant Sequoia hidden by all the dense overgrowth. Over 2700 years old, it was massive with bright red-orange bark, 100’around, 250 feet high, and straight as an arrow. How could I not see something this Stout and Strong from miles away, but I couldn’t?
Our society is like that overgrown forest. God showed me all is not dark, and all is not lost by a long shot. But the forest needs a fire to regain its health and live. What will remain will be a purified remnant, the Giant Sequoias. A church of Saints whose virtues will stand so tall, God’s people will finally start to walk in the full-stature of Christ.
Many great saints are alive today, hidden in the forests of darkness and evil.
They are like those Giant Sequoias, they have been born fireproof. They have a protection against the evil one that comes from years of prayer and soul-searching. They have been made to grow stronger in adversity and when the forest is brought down, they will stand as if the only trees around. The beauty of the Saints will be all that is left standing, when God purifies the forest.
Our time of renewal is coming, but we are still in an overgrown and dark forest.
Remember the Giant Sequoias. For almost 3000 years they have stood; not even 200 yeardroughts, nor lightening or fires have taken them out. For such a time as this, you were born. You have been given all you need to survive difficulty, just like the Sequoias. We too will survive the coming storm, if we but draw ever closer to Him, put on the Armor of God and stand firm where we are planted.
droughts, nor lightening or fires have taken them out. For such a time as this, you were born. You have been given all you need to survive difficulty, just like the Sequoias. We too will survive the coming storm, if we but draw ever closer to Him, put on the Armor of God and stand firm where we are planted.