Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Oaks from Acorns Grow

Remember the song, “Tall Oaks from Acorns Grow”? It’s a cute children’s song—one I hadn’t thought of in decades…until I began catching up on long overdue yardwork.

For the past 2 years, circumstances have caused me to neglect our yard. Shrubs grew wild and leggy. Weeds invaded where flowers should have bloomed. Two years of growth in a state where the growing season is year-round.

The solution to tackling this task is much like the answer to the riddle about how to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. So in recent weeks I’ve trimmed a bit, weeded a lot, pruned the plants I want to keep, and cut out the unwanted vegetation. Even with all that work, I’ve barely made a dent in our abundant Florida growth.

Oaks from Acorns GrowBut before discouragement could set in, I realized that in recent days I’ve been crunching acorns underfoot. And the children’s song came to mind.

We can joke about clichés, but the truth is, the large oak I labored under did indeed start as a tiny acorn. Planted in fertile soil, it simply did what it was created to do: hold its ground and grow.

As I work in the dirt, reflecting on oaks and acorns, I’m reminded that even though it might seem as if my situation is burying me, God is using it to plant me instead.

Oaks from Acorns GrowStill, I need to remember…

The darkness can be frightening, but His light shines brightest in the dark.

The duration and weight of our circumstances may be painful, but the combination of time and pressure drives us to the One who is our Refuge.

And the sense of loneliness in the face of our trials helps us appreciate the intimacy of our relationship with the One who created us, saved us, and indwells us with His Holy Spirit.

Thinking about acorns and oaks also reminds me of the passage in Isaiah 61:1-3:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (NIV).

This prophetic passage pointed to the Messiah—Jesus Christ, the anointed One who would come hundreds of years later to God’s chosen people as their Savior and Lord. It speaks to people who are hurting.

Those who feel buried in dark circumstances.

People in mourning and despair.

People who have been waiting so long that they’ve almost given up hope.

Yet this passage refers to God’s people as “oaks.” Plantings of the Lord for His glory.

Are you feeling discouraged today? In dark despair? Are you convinced your circumstances will bury you because you don’t have the strength to persevere?

Consider yourself planted instead. And know God does not abandon His children, regardless of their situation. Run to Him when you’re lonely. Welcome the light of His presence to dispel the darkness. Trust His perfect timing.

And remember…oaks from acorns grow.

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  1. Rayma Zugel

    Ava, what a timely blog. I was feeling so discouraged this morning over my weight, that I am not losing at a rate I think I should. But then I realize, “slow and steady wins the race”. I will try to not get discouraged and just eat my “elephant one bite at a time” (lowfat, of course 🙂

  2. Mickey Howe Wich

    Thank you for these strong words. Recently I started a job with a nice lady who’s husband killed himself one month ago. I appreciate these words of comfort that I can share with her. God bless !!

  3. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Rayma.
    Yes, “one bite at a time” applies to so many areas of life!

  4. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Mickey.
    So glad she has you to care for her!

  5. Anne

    Oh Ava! I love this image! When all is dark and we are weighed down and feeling smothered, we are acorns! God is using those dark and heavy circumstances to bring us to the point when we will burst up into new life. Such a great image to help us endure during difficult times.
    Thank you for your blog posts. They always find a home in my heart.

  6. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Anne!

  7. Elmira Gainey

    God is using you my friend to open our hearts and minds to HIS goodness and love!!! It’s so great to connect with you again… Have a “Blessed Day”!!

  8. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Elmira. So good to connect with you again, too!

  9. Elmira Gainey

    Ava, Thank You my friend!!! You have truly been inspired by GOD to share HIS words wit us!!! I am so happy to connect with you again!!!

  10. Bethany Macklin

    This post reminded me of a favorite passage in 2nd Corinthians 4:7ff that I share often with the hurting people who call in for prayer at K-LOVE radio where I work. The indestructible life God reveals through the myriad of “deaths” that we experience and the resulting fruit in the lives of others is incredibly encouraging to me — not to mention the eternal perspective that always keeps us anchored, focused, and moving forward in faith. Thanks for sharing from a place of understanding in your own life.

  11. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Bethany. Great verse!

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