Strength in numbers

Your spelling word for today: Sequoiadendron gianteum. Named after Sequoyah, the inventor of the syllables in the Cherokee language, the giant redwoods found most notably in groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are the largest trees in the world. The tallest have measured over 300 feet. The oldest, based on ring count, is 3500 years old.

You would think that such giants could stand against anything. In fact, they have very shallow root systems. Their ability to survive severe weather, fire, and other stress comes from the interlocking of their roots with each other. These massive trees that are often more than 100 feet in girth are even stronger because of the support and strength of their neighbors.

It is interesting that their greatest predator is man. A guy with a chainsaw, a big one mind you, can fell one of these giants. Think of the implications.

We are stronger in numbers. We were designed for community. We need each other. There are times when I need your shoulder to lean on. There are times when you need the collective strength of others.

Singly, we are easy prey. It is not difficult to cut us down. But when our lives are linked, we present a far more formidable obstacle to those who would do us harm or oppose us. Paul wrote to the Roman Christians: “We are all parts of His one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others” (Romans 12:5).

There is even a beautiful picture when we consider the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who exist in perfect communion with each other. We were created for fellowship, to belong to something bigger and greater than ourselves. There is strength in numbers!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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