As I walk through Richmond Park, I imagine if the trees could speak, what they would say, and what they would have seen? Some of the oldest oak trees in London live there, one oak, near Richmond gate, is around 800 years old. I can’t even begin to imagine what stories he would have!
Oaks, when fully grown, support more life forms than any other native tree, even when their leaves fall and rot, even this supports a multitude of life underneath. Ancient kings adorned themselves with crowns of oak leaves, and they are known as a symbol of strength and survival.
How had this 800-year-old tree survived so long? I’m told that it’s partly due to something called pollarding, a process of pruning weakly attached sprouts from the tree every few years, so they don’t become thick, heavy and hazardous.
As I walk into the Richmond Hill Hotel, I am led to the room we are due to meet in on the 5th May, Oak room, as I look around, a small voice whispers Oak. Dates set, speakers confirmed, and a flyer made with a mighty oak in the midst of it.
God speaks of Oaks, in Isaiah 61: 3 “that they may be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Coming before God, being reminded again of who He is, and who He calls us to be, allows Him to help us rid ourselves of every weakly attached sprout, those that weigh us down. God in this chapter speaks of binding up the broken-hearted, releasing the captives, comforting those who mourn to have a garment of praise instead of a faint spirit! Such amazing promises of God richly written throughout the whole chapter.
Living an abundant life in Jesus we are able to be life-giving to those around us. On May 5th we will receive great teaching, have a lovely lunch, fun workshops, use the spa and get to know each other. But more importantly in us, God will continue to create something as beautiful and as full of life as a mighty oak, living in freedom and unhindered, that He may be glorified!