The Oak in the Middle

As you approach an intersection, in one of my favorite neighborhoods, there’s a massive tree in the middle of the road.

I’ve driven by many times but never stopped. Until the other day. Curiosity got the best of me, so I parked my car and walked up under the expansive canopy.

A quick Google search told me the tree is a Burr Oak—a slow-growing hardwood that lives up to 400 years!

Now I realized why the powers-that-be built the road around this stately survivor. “Just how old are you?” I asked the tree. It didn’t answer, of course.😊

I decided to find out.

Another internet search yielded a formula to find the approximate age of a tree. I returned the next day to take the needed measurements. After plugging in the numbers, and doing the math, I had the answer: 260 years!

Kathlyn Tsang, at Tree of Healing Ministries wrote something recently that reminds me of the old oak tree’s endurance: “The sanctification process is a lifetime commitment.”

If God wants to grow an oak tree He’ll take a hundred years. This is the backdrop for what the Apostle Paul told the Christians at Philippi.

Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose

Philippians 2:12b-13 (NIV)

Kind reader, if God can look after a tree for two-and-a-half centuries, then He can look after you and me. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor “Isaiah 61:3b (NIV)






48 responses to “The Oak in the Middle”

  1. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I understand exactly what you’re saying, Nancy. Comparison is a horrendous habit of mine. Everything’s fine until I decide to look at what others are doing.
    Yes, I’ve seen the giant acorns from the burr oak. They’re like three meals for the average squirrel 🐿!

    Thank you for reading and sharing, Nancy. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy Ruegg Avatar

    I’m so glad the builders of the road preserved that glorious tree! God seems to appreciate slow and steady, doesn’t he. So why don’t I?! Why can’t I be patient with myself, celebrating what he’s already accomplished in me, instead of berating myself for how far I have to go? As for burr oaks, I love their distinctive, fuzzy-topped acorns. You’ll have to look for them this fall!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks for stopping by, Tina. I love trees, too! God Bless!


  4. Tina Avatar

    Wonderful post and message, David! I love trees. 🌳 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Gary Fultz pointed out that the root system of a typical Burr oak spreads out farther than its canopy. I love your analogy about deep roots finding living water! As we grow in Christ, such eternal refreshment should become easier to find. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beth Alisan Avatar

    What a beautiful tree David. It’s incredible to think that it is older than our nation. Oh if it’s trunk could talk I’m sure it would have many a tale to tell. With such longevity it does make me wonder how deep it’s roots have gotten. How grateful I am that everyday spent drinking Living water will deepen our roots as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. God Still Speaks Avatar

    God bless you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I thought of the first two points, and now you’ve discovered a third. I love it! Thank you for sharing. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. God Still Speaks Avatar

    This brings me great hope on two levels. First that the planners of the town were wise enough to leave the tree alive, and second, that God will take however long He needs to help me. Oooo wait, there is a third thing, time has no end with God, which leads to eternity with Him!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Quiet Roarer Avatar

    That’s a great lyric! I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Jo. I wrote the following song lyrics once, 🎶“Lord, I don’t want to be an over-night sensation. Let me grow, just like a tree, pointing up to your salvation.” 🎶
    The old oak’s slow, but steady growth inspires me!


  12. The Quiet Roarer Avatar

    There’s so much reassurance, encouragement and hope wrapped up in that statement “sanctification is a lifetime process”, and to think that trees such as this one can remind us of that…I will think of this whenever I see an old well established tree from now on! 🙂 Maybe it won’t be an oak, but we have seen some magnificent old mango trees where we currently are. Great insight, thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It’s too big to get your arms around, Matt.😉 And, no, I am not a tree hugger.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. jesusluvsall Avatar

    Were you tempted to cling to the tree?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Avatar

    either way, it’s really rather impressive!!


    Liked by 1 person

  16. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I’m glad they didn’t cut the tree down too, P. It’s canopy is wider than the road! I had no idea it was so old. Even if it’s an approximate number, over two centuries is a lot! Thanks for sharing. God Bless!


  17. scribelady Avatar

    When I look at big trees like that it reminds me of God’s majesty. Now you’ve given me another way to look at it. Thank you! I am glad they left the tree up.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    Wouldn’t that be wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. davidsdailydose Avatar

    True. If only they could tell stories of all they have seen!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. davidsdailydose Avatar

    The verse from Isaiah came to mind as I thought about writing this post. The passage right before it is powerful, too. Thank you, Lena Rae! God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    When I look at trees, it also makes our span of years feel so short!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lena Rae Avatar

    I love the verses about the oak of righteousness a planting of the Lord to display his splendor — that’s those who are working out their salvation with fear and trembling.


  23. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes, it is, Manette Kay! This is our Father’s world. Thank you for reading and commenting.


  24. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    It’s wonderful to have a message from God’s creation. Great one, David.


  25. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes, I’ve heard these white oaks have extensive root systems that spread far beyond the tree’s canopy. I wonder how deep its tap root goes? There’s a creek just beyond the tree line (behind the oak in the first photo). It’s about 50 yards away. I bet the old oaks roots go that far, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks for stopping by, Simply B! The theologian Eugene Peterson called the process of growing in holiness a “long obedience in the same direction.” Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Gary Fultz Avatar

    Wonderful insight David. The burr oak is a favorite of ours. I call them our sentries on our land. Their root system is larger under ground than the tree above ground. One of the most stable and anchored trees that exist.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. davidsdailydose Avatar

    The U.S. Forestry website cautions that the formula I used to determine the age of the tree should only be considered a rough estimate. Regardless, the neighborhood oak tree has been there long before the city and the street.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. SimplyB Avatar

    So good, David. I needed this encouragement today! “The sanctification process is a lifetime commitment” is so very true. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Betty Avatar

    I know, David. And thanks for the formula.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I was just being comical, Betty.😀 I know you and Dan enjoy nature! I will email you the formula I found to estimate the age of a tree. All you need is a sewing tape measure. It’s quite fascinating! Of course, you could look it up yourself, but I’ll save you the trouble.


  32. Avatar

    Wonderfully put David!!

    Our last home had an oak tree in the garden. We’re told it was in excess of 150 years old.

    I don’t know about that. But I do know it was huge and rather amazing to see each day from our bedroom window. I imagined all the people who had sheltered under it, or walked by it.

    I wondered about those that saw it as a tiny tree, that would not have been impressed by it at all.

    And yet, as you say, God cared for it all those many years, so how much more has He, does He, and will He, care for us.

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Betty Avatar

    I don’t think your process is backward at all! It sounds perfect to me. Now I do love Dollar Tree. However, I like nature so much more. I don’t have a favorite tree right now, but I’m going to be on the lookout for one. Enjoy your day, David!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. davidsdailydose Avatar

    You’re welcome, brother. I finally found something in my region of the U.S. that’s as old as some buildings in 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland! Agreed, the majestic oak is a picture of God’s love and provision. God’s best to the Kearn’s clan!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Betty! I often discover a story first and then find scriptures that go with it. I suppose this is a bit backwards, but it works for me. I bet I can guess your favorite tree: Dollar Tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Alan Kearns Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful stately tree with us David; such trees are a physical reminder of God’s love in this life. May we draw near to Him each day for His gifts to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Betty Avatar

    Beautiful and interesting tree, David! And I especially love the “oaks of righteousness” quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. #hhhigh Avatar

    Yes, David, Here is cold, and here/there and other cities had flood experiences. But Praise God, He is in control. I heard the summer over there also is a bit hot and above 30 c. Hope you and family are safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Dariush! We are having quite a hot summer here in the southern United States. I hope your winter in Australia is comfortable.


  40. #hhhigh Avatar

    Wow, 260 years old !!! 😳 beautiful example, thanks David, I am encouraged by your word. Such a great reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Just beyond the tree line behind the big old tree there’s a creek. It’s close enough that the big oak probably has roots all the way to the water. When you think about how many seasons and storms that old oak has seen it’s mind boggling! It’s comforting to know that God cares for us even more than he does the trees. Thank you for your thoughts, Pastor Pete. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  42. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for sharing the link, Bette. It makes sense that there are lots of these old Oaks in the middle of the road. Down in Texas they have live Oaks that live even longer. I’ve noticed they don’t cut those down much either. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for reading and commenting. God bless!


  43. pastorpete51 Avatar

    I love your insight into God’s schedule for growth. I am usually too impatient to wait even one year for anything. Your oak reminds me of my home state Connecticut. The old country roads (built around 1650-1700) simply went around large trees and rocks because back in those days it was too much work to move them. Now, three- four hundred years later some of those trees are enormous and still happily growing!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Bette Cox Avatar

    Thanks for sharing that, David! There’s one in Conway, SC like that, the Magrath Oak. I love trees, and I love that people recognize God’s handiwork in creating and preserving them.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Bridget. I appreciate your continued encouragement! Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Me too, Barb. Like I said, I’ve driven around that tree many, many times without even thinking about why it is still there. Once I realized how long it has been around, I knew there was a biblical analogy. Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a blessed weekend!


  48. My Life in Our Father's World Avatar

    I love that they routed the road around that beautiful tree!

    What a great reminder to honor the important people in our lives!

    Liked by 1 person

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