Tuesday, June 16, 2009
GWE - Days 8 & 9 - Sequoia National Park
Monday, June 15, 2009 (Day 8) (Travel Day)
Reading from Psalm 1 this morning…
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in HIS law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf shall not wither,
And whatever he does shall prosper.” (vv. 2-3 NKJV)
Success, prosperity, security, peace, joy, fruitfulness – all of these descriptors we would hope apply to each of us. They are only possible though if we are in a relationship with JESUS CHRIST. GOD provides all of this for us. Notice the tree flourishes because of “where” it is. So then we flourish only when we are in CHRIST. May I be this man, LORD.
Very appropriate reading considering our next destination – Sequoia National Park! I am eagerly anticipating this portion of our Great Western Expedition. I’m almost like a kid expecting some new toy or surprise. To be able to see and feel these ancient, giant trees will be a special time for me. I love the forests and this would have to be close to GOD’s crowing creation in forests. Open my eyes, ears, and spirit to YOUR, truth, LORD. Help me understand what YOU have for me in this place.
At Three Rivers Hideaway RV park in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the gateway to Sequoia National Park and set up before 6pm. I am so eager to get to the park but I restrained myself – tomorrow morning early would be best, then I would potentially have all day in the park!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 (Day 9)
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalms 46:10 (NKJV)
Be exalted in my life as well, dear GOD.
I can hardly wait to get into Sequoia National Park. Kathy is sleeping a little late this morning – tired from being up late last night. She cooked over the campfire in her camp Dutch oven. It was quite good, but the cleanup took a while (even with both of us working). Her feet are hurting her too. I am a little concerned about fluid building up in her legs and feet.
It’s hard to know where to begin at Sequoia… there are so many possibilities and the sense that I may miss something. I know it will be spectacular, that YOU will work in the midst of YOUR creation. Help me hear and see YOU.
Words fail me as I attempt to describe my feelings and observations at Sequoia National Park. The Sierra Nevada is truly a sight to behold. As we approached the park, we wound our way up from about 300’ elevation in Three Rivers to over 7000’ near Giant Forest. We passed through Chaparral with its more dry and scrubby flora, serpentined alongside the Keweah River, and finally entered the cloudy mist – the domain of the Giant Sequoia. I have seen pictures, watched television documentaries, and read what others have written about these magnificent trees; but it was still an almost indescribable experience the see these ancient, living giants. As I walked the circular trail around the meadow in the Giant Forest, I was awe inspired. This was a worshipful experience for me, as serene and holy as any cathedral I have ever visited. This is not a worship of the trees themselves but of their CREATOR. As I gazed up at these towering monoliths, it occurred to me that they existed in the mind of GOD before their creation. It is indeed humbling and a privilege to be in the presence of these giants. When GOD called HIS creation good – I wonder if HE was looking at these special creatures.
I cannot explain why these trees hold such a dynamic appeal to me, but it is evident they do. I could not wait to get out of the Explorer and run up to one of these giants. Looking up at the towering monument, I think I can imagine how some small creature (like an ant) might feel. One is totally dwarfed by these massive trees. I was in for another surprise though. As I reached up for a close encounter with my own Sequoia, I was unprepared for the feel of this massive tree. Its bark almost has the feel of a coconut husk, but very soft and spongy. One might expect Sequoias to be hard since they withstand forest fires easily, but in fact these giants are “gentle giants”. Perhaps there is a lesson here for us.
The General Sherman Tree is the largest living thing on the earth. It is not the tallest nor the widest but calculating the total mass of the tree it stands out from all other living things. This tree is a little removed from Giant Forest and has a central place among other Sequoias and Firs as you continue up the Sierra Nevada. There a few Sequoias standing in the same grove that would closely rival General Sherman in mass! Walking the trail down to the General Sherman Tree you actually walk through a fallen Sequoia – a tunnel has been cut through the old tree!
I did not do as much hiking as I had planned so we will be back tomorrow!
Thank YOU, LORD, for this special place and time. Thank YOU for the experience of this part of YOUR Creation.