I never knew the amount of time it took for Oak trees to grow, from an acorn to a mighty oak. It requires a copious amount of patience and more time than this instant age can possibly bare. We once lived in a house where a stupendous oak tree cast a shadow over the entire house late afternoons. Our little ones played under the branches of this tree and scooped up acorns into their little hands. Some of the acorns happened to have sprouted. It was then that Abba reminded me about Isaiah 61:3 where He calls us oaks of righteousness, a planting of Yahweh for the display of His splendour.
I felt His heart saying,
"It takes time, beloved, for these precious plantings to grow and to cast shadows large and wide. It takes patience on your part, and pruning on My part."
John 15:2, 4 NIV
He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
Are we willing to be part of such a tedious, yet purposeful process? For the acorn must change its form entirely and its shell must be broken in order for it to sprout. It must be taken into a dark place for the sprouting to continue and to take on the form of a small seedling. It must overcome and endure to take root and to push through darkness, to stretch out towards the light.
I John 2:29 NKJV
If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
The small trunk has to be strengthened and guarded from numerous elements. The plant itself cannot be defended by his own strength. One much greater has to do that. The plant cannot water his own roots. One greater and more powerful has to water it for it to grow. Not by by might not by power but by His Spirit, the same Spirit that hovered over the waters, before time truly began. The same Spirit that will be poured out like water in the last days. Out of His mouth flows waters that will cause this young tree to grow more and more as it reaches its tender offshoots towards the sky in an act of worship. It's branches will soon be able to cast a small shadow and even become the habitat of birds and small creatures. The glory of the King starts to shine through the humble oak tree, not yet big enough for one to climb in. Years might pass and this same humble plant will stand mightily, firmly planted, branches bearing strength, even able to be the foundation of a tree house for little ones to be housed in.
Beloved, He longs for us to become like this tree. Strong and mighty in Him. Him being our defender and provider and us being firmly rooted in the soil of His kingdom. Unshakable and immovable when trouble arises. Casting our shadows with a confidence not in ourselves but in Him.
Firmly planted as an oak
Our shoulders bearing a righteous cloak
For young and old fellows
A seed cast into the dark
On this journey of growth we embark
Yearning for the light
Remaining steadfast through the fight
We burst forth through the darkened earth
Embracing the novelty of this birth
From inside a humble little acorn
A honourable oak will be born
He rejoices over us with glee
Over this acorn becoming a tree
Being faithful in the little and in the small
Now appointed to be one standing tall
Just like a city on mountain heights
Filling dark places with His marvellous light
Displaying the glory of our King
With all creation,
praises we will sing
Blessing and honour, glory and power!
Be unto the Lamb in this hour
For a time such as this
Walking in His righteousness
To display Yah's splendour
On this earthly endeavour
The oak tree in our garden stood out even more because of the drought-stricken area leaving a trail of dried up plants and even trees that sadly didn't make it. Very few things seemed to grow in that garden, but this faithful tree kept on growing. I later learned that an oak tree of that magnitude must be about 70 plus years old. My respect and adoration for this tree grew even more.
One who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.
Isn't it remarkable that the LORD Himself visited Abraham underneath this Oak tree? It seems to be one of the mysteries only to be comprehended in full when we enter into eternity. Yet it did catch my attention that this was the place Yahweh chose to give the final words of promise to Abraham, the son of promise soon to be born. Isaac has been a prototype of Yeshua to me in the sense that he was also to lay down his own life, just like Yeshua would. And Abraham knew first hand the immense intensity of having to give his only son as an offering. The fulness of this promise given underneath the Oak tree, came many years later. Through the Son of Promise, Yeshua Himself we can now walk in the entirety of righteousness.
It is truly a path to walk on. A narrow road on which one can still, out of our flesh, stumble on. The only difference is, the way is not forsaken and the humble in heart, turns back to the Father again and again. He does draw near as we draw near to Him. When we call, He answers.
1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
Beloved, may we be oaks of righteousness to display the glory of our King. May our root system abide firmly in His word, so that when storm and tempest does arise, we are not tossed to and fro by every wind.
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Through Yeshua, the Firstborn and One who made the Way, we can be partakers of the household of faith where Yahweh is our Father. We are part of His family and also part of His body.
"I found out that the redwood trees live as long as they do and grow as strong as they do because of their covering - their red covering- so they are guarded from insects and fires in a way other trees aren't. Then I found out they knit their roots together underground. I couldn't help but think of the Body of Jesus. I knew it had to be a song."
Stephanie connects the redwood tree (it is in the plant family or classification of the oak tree) to the Body of Yeshua.
I then remembered a revelation Abba gave me in that same time we lived in the house with the oak tree in the garden. Oak trees are used to create wine barrels. This practice has been used since the time of Yeshua, which seems distinctly significant. We are to be oaks of righteousness and He can use us for His kingdom as vessels. We contain His Spirit and Yeshua Himself dwells within us.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
If you are interested to learn more about how the oak barrels are made, you can watch this insightful video.
There seem to be numerous elements that correlate directly to our journey with Abba, out of the kingdom of darkness into His promised Kingdom of marvellous light.
Firstly the logs are handpicked by the vigneron, chosen specifically with the purpose in mind. We also are a chosen, peculiar people. The logs are cut into planks. The planks are then left outside for 2-3 years. This reminded me about the journey out of Egypt, the supposedly comfortable plantation, into the wilderness. The wilderness is the place where Abba speaks. It is mostly lonely but He is there, with us. The planks are then assembled into the first step of the barrel. Thirty planks more or less. That is the amount they use to make one barrel, packing them small, medium, large, round about, repeating the rhythm. Abba also functions on a rhythm we've learnt. His appointed times form a circular motion and with each repetition we have the tremendous privilege to learn about Him in a deeper way. It has been of such a joy each year we join in for His Feasts. After the barrel has been loosely assembled. It has to be placed next to a scorching fire, yet it will be brought out into rich fulfilment.
You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.