The creation of the heavens and the earth is even
more awesome than the creation of the human being, but most people
do not know. [40:57]
The sequoia tree is a relative of the redwood and it grows only
on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.
It’s the most massive of all living things. In fact, the General
Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest life form on
earth today. It’s 275 feet tall with a base circumference
of 103 feet. The sign in front of General Sherman states: “Other
types of trees are taller, or thicker at the base, but no other
living thing on this planet exceeds the volume of this giant sequoia.”
The volume of the trunk is 52,500 cu.ft. Sequoias survive because
they are fast growing and because they have thick bark and wood
that’s resistant to insects and fire. They may live 3000 years
I had the privilege of visiting Sequoia National Park. As I stood
under these giants and looked up, I could only say, “Mashallah.”
What a gift that God would place such a thing on earth and then
allow me to enjoy it. I was so appreciative of this blessing.
But the most remarkable thing happened—not at the popular,
well-known spots, like the
Sherman Tree or the General Grant tree.
There was a small turnout for “Lost Grove.” Up a small
hill stood a beautiful giant. How it’s still alive, I don’t
know. Only God is keeping it going. Through time and fire it has
completely hollowed out at the base. The path goes right up to it
and you can walk inside. Not just peek inside, actually walk inside.
I found myself standing in the heart of a living, breathing tree.
In awe I touched its sides and listened. What a story it told.
This solid, gnarled tree that surrounded me may have sprouted during
the life of Solomon or Jonah. It was a seedling when Jesus was born.
As it struggled to survive its first couple of hundred years, only
God saw it grow—few humans walked these woods. It was tall
but still young when Mohammed brought the Quran to the world. It
was stately and majestic by the time Columbus landed in America.
When I was born—only a second ago in the overall life of this
beautiful tree—it had already survived numerous fires and
climatic changes. It had witnessed and survived the upheaval wrought
by the arrival of man in great numbers. It may still be standing
when the world ends.
Only one in thousands of seedlings lives to maturity. So many things
can affect their chances of survival. God chose to make this one
grow and thrive. And somewhere along the way, its gigantic base
began to hollow out. Fire is an important factor is keeping sequoias
healthy so it probably survived many small and large forest fires
and other disasters that eventually took a toll on its solid base.
Amazingly, these trees can survive with large hollow cavities, as
long as the outer wood stays healthy to carry nutrients and water
from the roots to the top. This cavity was huge—it would have
held six or seven people standing upright. Still, this massive tree
had a thick outer coat
and huge roots fanning out for support.
Here it stood and continues to stand majestically, simply submitting
to God. I thank God that He caused this tree to open its heart to
me. Thousands will see it and walk around it; kids will climb all
over it as they laugh and play. But probably no one will feel the
same connection I felt. It felt like being with God. It was humbling.
I know that God is always near, but I also know that some places
feel more special. This was so awesome. I spoke in a whisper and
just marveled at the gift. How this mighty tree, this grand creation,
has submitted willingly, happily to God—day after day, year
after year. I hope I’m worthy to meet this splendid submitter
in the Hereafter and remember the brief moments in its long life
when we connected. Mashallah.
He sends down from the sky water for your drink,
and to grow trees for your benefit. With it, He grows for you crops,
olives, date palms, grapes, and all kinds of fruits. This is (sufficient)
proof for people who think. [16:10-1]
Do you not see that GOD has cited the example of
the good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its
branches are high in the sky? It produces its crop every season,
as designed by its Lord. GOD thus cites the examples for the people,
that they may take heed. [14:24-5]
Who is the One who created the heavens and the earth?
Who is the One who sends down to you from the sky water, whereby
we produce gardens full of beauty - you could not possibly manufacture
its trees? Is it another god with GOD? Indeed, they are people who
have deviated. [27:60]
The stars and the trees prostrate. [55:6]