See the Oak Tree inside the Acorn
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
A friend sent me a devotion about raising boys and one of the points was to “see the oak tree inside the acorn.” As the mother of this little boy who is two-years old, I deeply cherish those words.
John is such a little acorn! A small, silly, precious child full of potential and wonder. But God sees him as an oak tree. God doesn’t live in time and sees John as an eternal being, made in His image. Inside this little child is a strong man, a protector, a provider, a warrior, a pillar of righteousness. Inside this little child is a potential father and generations of others to come.
Ever since I read that devotion, I have done my best to call forth the oak tree inside my little acorn. When he fights invisible sea monsters with his swords, I tell him he is strong and courageous, and that he will be a warrior one day. When he pushes curious onlookers away from his baby sister, even when they are twice his size, I tell him he is brave and that God has made him a protector. When he plays his Elmo guitar and spins and dances, I tell him he has a natural heart for worship and I can see him leading it one day. When he hits his older sister and doesn’t share, I tell him that’s not who he is in Christ. When I pray for John, I pray for him as a husband and a father…I try to speak to the oak tree inside my little acorn.
Has anyone ever seen potential or spoken life into you? Words can be very powerful. I’ll never forget the first time someone asked me to lead a Bible study. I remember it so well. She called on the phone and I know exactly the road I was driving on in my car. She told me she thought I was a light and a leader. Who me? I can’t lead people in a Bible study! Do you know what kind of mistakes I’ve made in my life? I am absolutely unworthy!
But she saw something else. She saw who God saw. She reminded me that I am a new creation, much like the acorn that is no longer an acorn when it becomes a tree. She spoke HIS words of life into me and reminded me of who I am in Christ; righteous, forgiven and new…a display of His splendor. He used her to paint a picture of who He saw and then she asked if I would step out in agreement.
I said yes. I have been blessed to lead several Bible studies since then. My branches have reached higher and my roots have grown deeper than I could have ever imagined…and I am still growing! But without her words, I may have never experienced the fullness of life He put inside me.
Once someone sees the oak tree in you and shows you what it looks like, God opens your eyes to see it in others. A few months ago, I was in a similar conversation. Only this time, I was on the other end. It makes me smile from ear to ear to see a friend leading her first Bible study this fall. She is not unworthy, and God is using her to speak life into others each week. When we speak potential into others, it has life that goes forward beyond what we can see. Inside each acorn is an oak tree, and inside each oak tree is an entire forest.
Each time we speak, we can either advance the kingdom of life or the kingdom of death. God spoke the entire universe into existence with His words. Eve was led to eat the apple by words from the enemy. Condemning words have the power to destroy us while life-giving words have the power to revive us. They free us to become who we really are to our Maker.
The enemy works hard to snuff out potential, but the Body of Christ illuminates it. Jesus sees and calls forth the saint in the sinner, the righteous in the wicked, the Paul in the Saul, the lovely in the unlovely, the life in the death, the perfect in the imperfect, the spotless bride in the unfaithful, the royal in the common, the eternal in the now.
It is a miracle who we become in Christ. As Sally Lloyd-Jones writes, “a whole forest is inside a single acorn. And the Bible says because of Jesus, all the riches of God – all of heaven’s vast resources, all the power in the universe – have come to live inside you.”
We can’t fathom what a tiny acorn is capable of becoming until we see the oak tree. And we can’t fathom who we are capable of becoming until we look at Jesus…and believe His words.
Father, thank you for transforming us into new creations with your grace. Open our eyes to see the oak tree of righteousness in all of your children. Lead us to use our words to speak abundant life and call forth your Kingdom.