Revelations column: The acorn, oak tree, and what God is trying to tell us
The other day, while walking Sadie, I passed a large oak-like tree with acorn-like nuts scattered at the trunk base. Some of the nuts were cracked in half, while others were in pristine condition. I pass the tree every day on my walks with her, but never think much about the nuts lying on the ground.
But on that day, I stopped near the tree and stared for several minutes at the nuts. And as I stared at the sea of brown, I remembered a story my sister told me years ago. It was the story of the acorn and the oak tree.
I can't remember why my sister told me the story that day, but I know it was received on a day I needed encouragement. I guess the same was true for the other day at the tree, which is why I remembered her story.
She told me that God sees his children like acorns - born small and fragile, and one among many. But when we're planted, fed, given light and allowed to grow, we're capable of transforming into mighty oak trees, like the one in the rear of my home.
But the enemy also knows about the potential of a small acorn. He knows it can grow strong and tall, and do great things one day for God's kingdom. So he'll do anything he can to crack, split, or break the acorn, anything to keep it from establishing firm roots and prospering in the ground.
As I stared down at the small nuts, I noticed how many shells displayed cracks and holes. Then I wondered for a moment, what kind of acorn I wanted to be? Knowing how much I've struggled the past few months with an honest and open (and proactive) relationship with the Lord, I considered whether I was allowing the enemy to uproot and sabotage my growth. Then I wondered whether I'd been firmly planted in my Lord at all.
Yes, this entire thought process ran through my brain in a matter of mere minutes.
But in that brief moment at the tree, staring at a sea of nuts on the ground, my sister's story managed to re-energize my spirit. The little cracked shells reminded me of the kind of follower I didn't want to be, while the shells in perfect condition reminded me of my potential. My earlier emotional funk, was turning quickly, into a smile.
I've walked past the tree many times since I stopped to stare at the little nuts the other day. And each time I do, I think about my sister's acorn and oak tree story. The shells on the ground remind me every day how much I want to be strong and mighty for God, and how much I still have left to do for him.
It's comforting to know the Lord put the acorn story on my sister's lips that day. He knew years later I'd walk past an oak-like tree in Victoria, and need a reminder about the acorns - and the big oak tree-sized plans he has for me.
Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.