An acorn is an oak tree in waiting. It has to die to self – to what it has always been, this tidy, round little wooden ball with a point on one end and a cap on the other – to become a tree. At every stage, as a sprout, a sapling, and then a tree, it pulls sustenance and life out of its surroundings, from light to air to water and nutrients in the soil. This life allows the tree to become what God intended it to become… shade, wood, fuel… some trees also make lots more little acorns. But whether they’re making acorns or not, the changes and growth are what allow them to fulfill their destiny and their potential. “And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground –trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” Genesis 2:9
Did you ever wonder if an acorn resists being covered over by damp dirt and splitting open, losing everything about itself as an acorn, as God changes it to a seedling? Do you wonder if it recognizes that in its quest to put down roots deep into the soil, it loses its former tidy little appearance, smooth and shiny exterior? The shell no longer fits, in fact it splits clean open! And then all this growth on top… this tight budding, and unfurling, and opening to the sunlight. A stalk starts growing that becomes thicker and fuller, and becomes a tiny little trunk, waving in the breeze. As time goes by and seasons change, leaves come and go, branches appear, the trunk keeps developing, and the seedling turns into a sapling, and finally into a young oak tree. The seasons and storms that the young tree experiences as it matures are what gives it strength and character, from dry seasons that force it to push roots deeply into the soil for moisture, to fierce winds that seek to pull it away, to cold seasons during which the little tree rests and waits for the sunlight to again appear. Never, during the growth of an oak tree, can it remain static, without change, for very long. It isn’t the proper order of things… living things must grow, and change, and mature.
There are so many correlations between this acorn and us as women, so many similarities between the seedling and the mother. “For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people.” Isaiah 65:22.We must also die to our selves, to the neat and tidy lives that we had before the explosion of change and growth – not just physically, but also mentally, most emphatically emotionally, often spiritually.
“But blessed is the man (or woman) 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. It has no worries in a year of drought, and it never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8
That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? God’s Word tells us that He understands the changes, and provides strength to us so that we better understand, and can better assimilate the changes into our own lives. Proverbs 3 says “Blessed is the person who finds wisdom… she is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.” And in Proverbs 11, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life…”
I join Paul as he writes to the church at Ephesus, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”