Did you know the bark of the average Redwood tree is up to one foot thick?  Due to the extraordinary thick bark, along with their high water content and lack of resin, Redwoods are able to more successfully resist the destruction of forest fires.  Additionally, the tannic acid in the bark helps Redwoods resist disease and insect infestation.  Redwoods are not indestructible, but they do have many characteristics that help them thrive in the environment in which they live, despite the turmoil that may develop around them.

In truth, we are a lot like the Redwood tree.  Just like this towering tree that endures through hardship, we have the tools we need to stand up against all negative influences we encounter.  Just like the Redwood is protected by its bark, we have protection through the armor of God!

Ephesians 6:11 states, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Every day, we are going to face situations that tempt us and cause our faith to waver.  Just like the Redwood that often faces fire or infestation; we encounter illnesses, negative opinions, and other things the devil uses to try to alter our beliefs.

The Bible says the devil is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).  But if we have on the full armor of God, we can stand up against every curveball the devil throws our direction.  God’s armor will protect us in the same way that the Redwood finds protection through its outer covering of bark.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul adds one more aspect of the armor of God.  It isn’t enough to simply have the tools.  You have to have the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit.  He says, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).  I am reminded of the popular t-shirt sold some time ago in Christian bookstores that said: “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”  How true this is!

Without prayer, our lives become even more susceptible to attacks by the enemy.  We find ourselves losing patience with other people, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, and having an overall negative attitude.  But through prayer, we can see our mountains turn into molehills.  Our storm clouds will turn into rainbows.  And our trials will turn into testimonies.  Prayer is the direct line of communication we have to the throne of grace.

You may be going through a battle of your own right now.  It may be that a loved one is knocking at death’s door.  You may be trying to figure out how to make ends meet, with only enough money to cover the electric bill or the mortgage.  Your car may be on its last leg, your job may be in jeopardy, or your children may be engaging in illegal activity.  I want to encourage you today.  Pray about your situation.  Ask other people to pray with you.  God’s Word says that where two or three are gathered together in His name, there will He be in the midst of them.

Through prayer, hearts can be mended, lives can be transformed, and miracles can happen.  No matter what you are going through, there is nothing too big for God.  No place on this planet is out of the reach of the almighty God.  He is watching over you.  Have faith that He will see you through.

Every morning when you get out of bed, put on the armor of God.  Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, put the breastplate of righteousness on your chest, and place your feet inside the readiness from the gospel of peace.  When the flaming arrows of the enemy come to harm you, let the shield of faith be your extinguisher, just like the Redwood bark dissuades fire in a forest.  Finally, place the helmet of salvation on top of your head and grasp on to the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

God does not expect you to go into battle alone.  Just as He has given the Redwoods the ability to survive undesirable conditions, He has given you everything you need to reign victorious, whether you are in the sunshine or the rain.  So stand firm in every situation, allowing the armor of God to protect you from all harm.  Then you, too, can stand tall like the Redwoods, knowing that God is on your side!

In Christ’s Love,