The Lowly Acorn

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
In summer the shade of an oak tree is welcome, and in fall its colored leaves are spectacular. But the oak begins in a small way.
A tiny flower on an oak tree is pollinated and begins to grow. Within a few months, it becomes an acorn, complete with its sporty little cap. A mature oak produces thousands of acorns. Every healthy acorn has the ability to produce all the parts of a new tree. However, only a few ever grow into trees, because there are many hungry mouths ready to eat them. This is just the way God purposed it. He told Adam, "Every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for [food]" (Gen. 1:2929And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Genesis 1:29)).
Almost all acorns are good to eat, but the North American Indians especially liked the white oak acorns. Squirrels and chipmunks also find acorns a chief source of food. Perhaps you have seen these lively animals scampering over a tree, cutting acorns free with their teeth. These fall to the ground and are later picked up and carried to their nests. Squirrels often hide acorns in the ground too, carefully covering them with soil. They, no doubt, intend to collect them later. However, they usually forget some, and so new little oak trees sprout from these forgotten acorns.
Some of God's other creatures also use acorns. Insects drill through the shell and plant eggs inside. When the eggs hatch, the kernel of the acorn is their food supply. Then there are woodpeckers, nuthatches, blue jays, wild turkeys and other birds that eat them. Pigs and even deer also eat them.
Surely God arranged such an abundant supply of acorns as good food for many of His creatures. The acorns that escape all these hunters and fall on fertile ground germinate in the fall. As the shell cracks open, little roots push out into the soil before freezing weather sets in. But God designed this seed so that no stems or leaves appear until spring. If they did, they would be killed by the cold of winter. In warm weather, the top growth appears, and a new tree is established.
We should be thankful to God for every kind of food graciously given to us. Let's also remember His words: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:44But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)). Later He explained, "My Father [gives] you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which [comes] down from heaven, and [gives] life unto the world....I am the bread of life: he that [comes] to Me shall never hunger; and he that [believes] on Me shall never thirst" (John 6:32-3532Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:32‑35)).