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  • Writer's pictureLara

From Little Acorns...

There’s a group of squirrels that frequent the garden at church. I know this because they’ve chewed through the bottom of the bird feeder and stolen all the peanuts, they’ve dismantled plastic fat-ball holders and made off with the contents and, even though they cannot get into the strong wire cage that holds a block of berry-flavoured fat, there are tiny little squirrel claw marks in the soft fat where they’ve taken handfuls as a snack! I’ve even caught them red-handed sometimes and shooed them away, but they quickly come back, unfazed by my admonishments.

The biggest issue I have with the squirrels though is that they bury acorns. I am not even sure where the oak tree is, but I find buried acorns when I am weeding and then, throughout the Spring, I also have to pull up little oak saplings. Those saplings throw down some deep roots really early too, and I need to dig down deep to remove them.

I was spending some time with God a few days ago and I saw an acorn in my mind’s eye, immediately cognisant of that fact that all the potential of the oak tree was already contained within its shell: the blueprint for its entire growth; the branches; how they are to grow out from each other; where each leaf will join to the branch…all mapped out before it even sprouts.

Then my thoughts were directed to us as The Body of Christ. When we were being formed in the womb, in the same way that the acorn contained within itself all the potential of the tree that it could become, we too have been created with the blueprint of God’s plan for us hidden away to unfold as we grow, if we seek His will. I was reminded of the words God speaks in Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5) and “I know the plans I have for you…” (Jeremiah 29:11). David tells us that all the days ordained for us were written in God’s book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139: 16).

Just think about that for a moment, let it settle in your spirit. All that potential placed in you at the moment of conception and some of it is still waiting to unfold. What treasures lie hidden waiting to burst forth when the time is right?

Of course, an acorn needs to be in darkness before it can germinate and we too may have to go through periods of darkness and difficulty to ready us for some parts of God’s plan. Those times hone us and strengthen us for the challenges to come. And just like the sapling throws down deep roots early on, we too must root ourselves deep in God’s word and drink from the living water that is Jesus. Again, God’s word in Jeremiah shines light on this analogy: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green…” (Jeremiah 17: 7-8).

Of course, an oak tree’s leaves are not always green, they turn brown and fall from the branches in Autumn, but that process, in itself, shows us something about the seasons of our lives. One of the reasons leaves turn brown is that, as it begins to get colder, the tree draws all their chlorophyll molecules (the green stuff!) back into itself to conserve energy ready for new growth in Spring. Our Christian walk is very similar: there are seasons for rest and seasons for growth and, as the acorn show us, seasons for seeds to be planted. Look how many acorns fall from one single oak tree. Look how big the oak grows from one single acorn. What is God showing you through this miracle of His creation today?

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