There is a mighty oak in the back of my property. It stands alone in my hay field. The oak is a solitary, lone watcher of the world/ A quick search online, and some hasty math, reveals that the oak in my hay field has likely been in place since before the Civil War. Since that time, as the world battled wars innumerable, several pandemics, social unrest, and the industrial revolution, it has silently stood. It has endured epic snow storms, hurricane force winds, blistering heat, and droughts aplenty all of which have brought down lesser trees. Yet in all of this, this beautiful oak was not always an oak tree. At some point in the distant past, it began as an acorn. It is a reminder that great things do not begin great. They begin as small, insignificant things. Yet, within them, is the potential, the promise, to be a mighty oak.
This past week, Nicki Gorny and Jeremy Wadsworth from the Toledo Blade joined us on the Farm. Jeremy joined us for Church on the Farm and Nicki stopped by to say hello and to learn about what we do on the Farm. Between Church on the Farm (and the subsequent discussion of Ezra), and my conversation with Nicki, I was reminded that, just as with the Oak, God begins His work in our lives as an acorn.
King David, a man after God’s heart, began as a shepherd. His entrance into King Sauls royal court, while epic ( I dare you to call his encounter with Goliath anything but epic) still began humbly with David being but a servant. It would be 20 hard years before he ascends to the throne but God showed himself faithful and what He began as an acorn in David became an oak of righteousness. Abraham, as a wanderer in a foreign land was a seed of righteousness, he was an acorn to the promise of Israel, the line oof King David, and the coming of Jesus. What began as a small thing became a nation that led to Jesus, the hope of the world. Jesus, is our mighty oak of righteousness. When Ezra wrote of the foundations of the rebuilt temple being laid, there were those that wept at the small beginning (they wept for other reasons too, such as remorse and repentance for the sin that brought them to that point). Yet, we read that the rebuilt temple would be 60 times bigger than Solomon’s temple. As small beginning becomes a massive temple to the Lord. Our lives are no different than that of the patriarchs. God begins with small things and, through His might and holiness, and providence, makes them grow and become mighty oaks.
I said that our lives are no different. For those that have walked this earth for a while, take a moment and look at where you were and compare to today. For Victoria and I, what started as a lark to move to Michigan, became our passion and purpose. What began with inviting people over for a farm visit and sharing the Farm and it’s bounty became a ministry; to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Through every step and twist and turn, God has shown himself faithful and what He began here in Ida Michigan is becoming an oak. We are not there yet, but we are seeing the shadows of what is to come. In Jeremiah, the Lord tells us that what He is doing is even now springing forth and that He has plans for us, you and me. Therefore, do not eschew your beginnings, or where you are now. For God has plans. I encourage you, open your eyes, take a look, and see where God is. If you’re having trouble seeing, reach out to us, I would love to help you see how your acorn is going to become a mighty oak of righteousness because God has a plan for you.
“…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” ~Isaiah 61:3
Nicki and Jeremy, at the Toledo Blade, wrote an amazing article with fantastic pictures. You can check out the article here. Also, the picture below, was taken by Jeremy Wadsworth at the Toledo Blade.