“Redwoods” – A Message By Chris Heldt


As I have grown older, I have found myself more and more fascinated with what I like to call “Boring Documentaries”.  I don’t have much time for TV in my schedule these days, but I can easily get hooked on a good documentary about history, nature, art… you name it.  Recently, I stumbled upon a documentary about Redwood trees.  I was amazed by one of God’s greatest designs.

Did you know…

  • Coastal Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, some reaching almost 400 feet tall.
  • They can live for well over 2,000 years.
  • Their bark can reach a thickness of 12 inches, allowing for great protection from extreme weather and forest fires.

But one fact about these trees I found very interesting was the root structure.  As tall as Coastal Redwoods grow, I would have assumed the roots must go very deep, but I found this to be completely inaccurate.  The roots only grow an average of 6-10 feet below the surface, which doesn’t seem deep enough to hold up a 375 ft tall tree.  Although they do not grow deep, they can spread about 100 feet away from the tree trunk.  As they spread, they intertwine with the roots of other trees and even start to fuse together.  This means that after one of these majestic beauties dies, the roots can continue to be used to provide nutrients to other living trees.

Matthew 5:14-16 states:

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 

Our Lord calls us to stand tall, just as these Coastal Redwoods, proclaiming Jesus’ great name in all we do.  But if we are not properly rooted in our faith, we are prone to fall.  Strong faith is what keeps us standing tall in the name of Jesus.  

The root structure of these trees is a great reminder of God’s call to structure our faith through a church community.  Our roots are not meant to be independent of one another, but to intertwine with others in our community.  To support each other in our Christian walks.  To hold each other accountable to God’s Word.  To brace each other through life’s many storms.  And just like the Redwoods, we can thrive off the roots of faith laid down by others who have gone before us.  Hebrews chapter 11 focuses on the faith of those who no longer live by faith because they are surrounded by God’s eternal glory, as they now live with Him. Until that day comes for us, we must still live by faith, trusting in what is unseen.  Relying on the foundation laid by those who have gone before us, rooting us in scripture and God’s truth made known to us through Jesus Christ.

I have been on quite a journey of faith lately.  God is calling me in ways I never thought possible.  Over the last year, I have spent much time reflecting on the roots that have been intertwined with mine.  God has blessed me with so many men and women of faith to help keep me on the path God has set.  We lost my mom to cancer almost 10 years ago now, but I can still see her roots in my life today.  These roots will always be a part of me.  This Sunday, I feel God saying it is time to share some of my story with you.  My hope is that you may too see how God has intertwined your roots with others along your faith journey, and maybe also catch a glimpse of where He is calling you next.

Your brother in Christ,
Chris Heldt