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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)

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

48 replies on “The Oak in the Middle”

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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. 🙂

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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