In the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park of Northern California grows a 304-foot-tall coastal redwood, aptly named the “Big Tree.” This giant is 21 feet wide at its base and is at least 1,500 years old.
Think of it. When this tree was still in its youth Justinian the Great ruled the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The legendary King Arthur won the Battle of Mound Badon against the Saxons. The stunning church Sancta Sophia was built in Constantinople. The Emperor Yang Jian founded the Sui Dynasty and reunited China after 400 years of internal divisions and strife. And 70 years would pass before the prophet of Islam, Mohammed, would be born.
Yet in 1918 this marvel of nature came within a whisker of total destruction. A local land-owner planned to cut the tree down–not for its yield of lumber but simply to use the flat surface of its stump as a dance floor. Fortunately, an early conservationist group, the Save the Trees League, was formed and purchased the land with private donations.i
Like that tree, each of us runs the risk of falling victim to someone’s self-gratification or Satan’s diabolical schemes. But we are not “cheap” in God’s eyes. We are beloved by the Lord Who purchased us out of Satan’s grasp and has a far greater purpose for our lives. “The thief,” said Jesus, “does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Dear heavenly Father, please grant that I may not sell myself cheaply. You have bought me with a great price—with the blood of Your own Son. Help me to understand my value in Your sight. Amen.
Information from display sign at the Big Tree Wayside Trail.