1 Kings 6:16 – Don't be afraid… those with us are greater than those with them.
Outside the office of Island Pastoral Services in Victoria, British Columbia, where I do some counselling work in addition to the ministry at Westshore, there is a giant outside on the lawn. It is a youngster at that, but no less gigantic for the fact. Outside our office stands a Sequoia tree, a native of northern California.
A number of trees were imported into the Victoria area in the last century. They were selected from an area in California with a similar climate to Vancouver Island and then shipped on a square-rigged-schooner out of San Francisco. Local folk gathered at the dock when the ship arrived and collected the seedlings which were planted around the district — often on farms, which have now been incorporated into the city.
These imports have fared very well. You can select a high point in the city and if you look around, can easily pick them out. They are head and shoulders higher than the native Douglas Fir or Western Red Cedars, which are very large trees. They are giants and only just over a hundred years old. If the Lord tarries and they are cared for, they will grow for another eight or nine hundred years and tower over the landscape. Even now they are giants.
I am very fond of these trees and know the location of most of them around the metropolitan area. They are visible giants, and remind me that we are surrounded by both a cloud of witnesses and also by God's angels. In the passage in 2 Kings 6, the Aramean army has surrounded Elisha's house and his servant is terrified. Elisha's calming words are that there are more with us than with them. He then prays that the young man's eyes be opened and the Lord's hosts are revealed.
I like the idea of giants in the neighbourhood — both the botanical and spiritual variety. It is comforting to know that God has given the heavenly host charge to minister and protect us from the full onslaught of the adversary. Those giants in the neighbourhood help me sleep better when things go bump in the night.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your ministering servants both of flesh and spirit whom you have sent for our edification, sustenance and protection. Amen.