Give Him Your Acorns
Our family loves to visit the state parks around us. We savor the opportunities to take a break from the noise of normal days for a canopy of trees and a carpet of crunchy leaves. While hiking through the trails, my children squeal at every chipmunk and repeatedly halt our progress to pick up each nut discovered on the ground. My children love to collect treasures.
One particular trip to the woods a couple years ago proved no exception. While hiking along the trail I reached down to grab my six-year-old’s hand but was surprised to find it bursting with acorns. Realizing I was unable to grip his hand I told him nevermind, it was ok. I could just hold it later.
But my six year old quickly thrust his hand into my own, while clutching tightly to his prizes. My fingers enveloped around his own clenched fist. He looked up at me and announced, “That’s ok, I’ll hold them in your hand. They’ll be safer.”
His comment lingered as we walked, and it’s one I come back to even today. After all, I carry my own acorns with me each day. Good treasures—worthy gifts, like my three sweet children, my husband, writing, homeschool, our home, the list goes on and on. Yet many questions, worries, what ifs, and whys circle around and threaten them. Like my son, I so badly want to keep my treasures safe. I long for the control to do it, and often as the fears knock on the door, I grip my fingers tighter. I find myself squeezing them whether it’s the small details of a birthday party or the bigger monstrous fears of diabetes and anxiety.
But my son’s words that day often come back to me. Instead of squeezing harder, my son knew where the safest place was for his acorns—in someone else’s hand. He was sure the hands of his bigger, stronger, wiser mother were more capable of keeping his treasures safer than his own. His complete confidence in my protection was humbling, and it’s an attitude Jesus invites all of his followers to share.
In Matthew 18 Jesus boldly proclaimed to his audience that “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). This call must have shook his listeners awake. Children in their culture were seen as a lesser class—not a group to emulate. But Christ’s call beckons us to look at our Father with the humility of a child. Just as a child understands the protection, power, and safety of their parent, we too need the humility to realize the same is true for us of Christ. Like a child, we must realize we need help from someone greater. We enter the kingdom of God by believing the gospel—the good news that Christ has done for us what we could never do. He has bought our righteousness by his death (2 Cor. 5:21). And like trusting children we can accept that reality with joy, thankfulness, and assurance in what our loving Father has done.
Yet these truths are not just ours once in our conversion. The attitude of childlike-trust is one the Holy Spirit can cultivate in us each day. Because even today, thirty-four years into this life, I need to remember that my acorns are safer in the hands of my Father. I need to be reminded that I can either grip as hard as I can, or I can place my hands full of treasures in the palm of my Father.
The beautiful reality is that when we glimpse his scarred hands wrapped around all our hopes and fears, we can be assured he truly will work all things out for our good (Rom. 8:28). His wounds remind us that our Father didn’t even spare his own Son, so we can be confident he will continue to graciously give us all that we need (Rom. 8:32).
Of course this doesn’t mean the road will be easy, nor that we’ll get all we want. But it does mean that we can trust the hand of our wise and loving Father. All of our treasures will find their greatest hope enveloped in his safe hand.
What acorns are you clutching onto today? Let’s loosen our grasp, and place them in a better place. Let’s thrust our full hands into the hands of someone greater, and feel the tender grip of our precious Savior.