Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Acorns of Encouragement and Faith

Encouragement is a beautiful thing.  I thank God for it.

Back in the late '90s, I loved the TV series called Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman - basically, the story of a female medical doctor who forsakes her patrician upbringing in Boston to pursue her own practice in the Colorado frontier around 1872 but then finds herself the adopted mother of three and wife of a local mountain man before the series ends.  Replete with all the adventure, drama, and romance of traditional TV westerns, this show piqued my interest in numerous ways, not the least of which was because it starred Jane Seymour (a favorite actress of mine) in the lead role as Michaela Quinn.  Also, I was attracted to its obvious "woman as underdog" theme as well as its "cowboys and indians" subplots, since I'm half Native American.

But all that notwithstanding, the show's true draw for me was that many of its episodes - skillfully written by Beth Sullivan - contained prophetically encouraging elements I found richly gratifying.

Throughout life, I've discovered simple truths and encouragements are the most profoundly uplifting.

For instance, a scene from one of the show's early episodes features Michaela speaking to her youngest adoptive son, Brian - then a boy of eight or nine - about whether or not he should plant an acorn he found.  He'd been advised against planting it by others who said he'd never live to see it a fully-grown oak tree, because that would take 100 years.

This is the part I love best.  As Brian clutched the acorn and hung his little head in discouragement, Michaela took his hand in hers, looked into his eyes and said [paraphrasing] oh, but Brian you must plant it.  For when you come back to it next year, it will be at your shoulders; and when you've finished all your schooling, it will be taller than you.  Then when you're old enough to go courting, you and your lady friend can sit beneath it and have a picnic in its shade.  And it doesn't matter if you're not around to see it fully grown; all that matters is today.  Today, you held 100 years in your hand!

What if the patriarchs and elders of old gave up on "planting" the seeds of the gospel on our behalf, beloved?  What would any of us have done without Noah and his righteousness before God?  What would we do today if it had not been for the simple, willing contributions in faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?    All their miraculous acts paved the way for Messiah by beginning as little "acorns" of faith in their hearts.   They didn't focus on what seemed insignificant or on seasons in which they would not partake.  Rather, for the sake of others their acts would benefit, they focused on the theme of their day and carried out the missions given to them by the Lord.  They believed by God's encouragements and power that planting their seed of faith would benefit and bless those of us waiting at the other end of hundreds and thousands of years.  Saints, we stand now at the "oak" they planted, thanking God for their faithfulness.  Amen.

Take the hand of a child today and encourage them to follow Jesus, for God made acorns of faith to grow into mighty oaks.  Take the hand of your brother and sister in Christ and encourage them to keep moving; keep trusting and believing in His righteous, holy Name for no one's faith is wasted.  God has an oak tree of blessing planned for every acorn of faith.

Be encouraged, dear ones; for today you hold the next generation of miracles in your hand.

Smiling in Jesus, 
Daddy's Girl

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)