but the tree snapped in half right at the line where slow growth transitioned into fast growth.

I went out to see what they call “The Big Cypress of Goethe State Park.” You would think they could think of a better name like the “Goethe Giant.” It is estimated to be over 900 years old, 29 feet around and 105 feet tall. It is a true Giant. Goethe Giant isn’t the prettiest tree you’ve ever seen; it is quite ugly. It’s been struck by lightning and the wind tore many branches out of it’s top. It stands as a testament to the tough life it survived.

I noticed a very small cypress tree nearby that was recently pushed over by wind. Dirt still covered the roots. What makes one tree strong and resilient while others are weak and vulnerable?

I suppose the tree overcome by hardship grew in weak soil, had diseased roots, or grew where there were no large trees to shield it from the wind.

Did the large tree have giants sheltering it from storms when it was young? Those giants are long gone after fostering this tree in its youth. It stands as a testament to their protection.

You’ve heard the phrase “Standing on the shoulders of giants.” I think standing in the shade of giants is just as important. You are those giants for the next generation of believers and the next.

Pastor Pete Pharis