“The growth of all living green things wonderfully represents the process of receiving and relinquishing, gaining and losing, living and dying.  The seed falls into the ground, dies as the new shoot springs up.  There must be a splitting and a breaking in order for a bud to form.  The bud ‘lets go’ when the flower forms.  The calyx lets go of the flower.  The petals must curl up and die in order for the fruit to form.  The fruit falls, splits, relinquishes the seed.  The seed falls into the ground … There is no ongoing spiritual life without this process of letting go.  At the precise point where we refuse, growth stops.  If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to let it go when the time comes to let it go or unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul.  It is easy to make a mistake here.  ‘If God gave it to me,’ we say, ‘it’s mine.  I can do what I want with it.’  No.  The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of – if we want to find our true selves, if we want real Life, if our hearts are set on glory.”

“God’s intention when He made the acorn was the oak tree.  His intention for us is ‘…the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”  Many deaths must go into our reaching that measure, many letting goes.  When you look at the oak tree, you don’t feel that the ‘loss’ of the acorn is a very great loss.  The more you perceive God’s purpose in your life, the less terrible will the losses seem.”

“The seed does not ‘know’ what will happen.  It only knows what is happening – the falling, the darkness, the dying … We were being asked to trust, to leave the planning to God.  God’s ultimate plan was as far beyond our imaginings as the oak tree is from the acorn’s imaginings.  The acorn does what it was made to do, without pestering its Maker with questions about when and how and why.  We who have been given an intelligence and a will and a whole range of wants that can be set against the divine Pattern for Good are asked to believe Him.  We are given the chance to trust Him, when He says to us, ‘…If any man will let himself be lost for my sake, he will find his true self.’ 

When will we find it?  we ask.  The answer is, Trust me.

How will we find it?  The answer is, Trust me.

Why must I let myself be lost?  we persist.  The answer is, Look at the acorn and trust Me.”

(excerpts from Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot)

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