Friday, July 13, 2012

Flourishing Like a Palm Tree Even through Pain

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree”
 (Psalm 92:12a).

One of my favorite trees is the palm tree.  I like them so much because I associate them with warm, sunny weather, and places of beauty and relaxation.

I did some research on palm trees.  Knowing how they will be used in the landscape is an important planting factor.  While some require humidity and heat, others can survive even in frost.  Some prefer full sun while others tolerate shade.  Some grow fast and others more slowly, and they vary in size and shape.  A flourishing palm tree sustains continuous, strong, steady growth because conditions are right. 

One devotional book I read mentioned that in Biblical times palm trees were used for shelter and food and were symbols of righteousness, beauty, and victory. We are probably most familiar with them being used to worship Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Palm trees were connected with places of rest and refreshment in the desert during the Israelites’ wanderings (Numbers 33:9). The branches were also used during the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles as a means of praise (Leviticus 23:40), as well as for constructing temporary shelters during the Feast of Booths (Nehemiah 8:15).

How can I flourish like a palm tree in my life of pain?  I can be consistent in praising God even on the worst days.  I can grow steadily in my walk with Him, finding my rest and refreshment in Him and sharing that refreshment with someone else.  I can be strong in claiming my victory through Christ even on the days that I fail.  I can continue having faith to believe that regardless of how this earthly body is deteriorating, my eternal perfection is coming.

We are all different, yet we share the same God-given purposes and promises.  Our physical conditions may not be optimal, but we have been divinely planted to flourish where we are.  By God’s grace we can still bear fruit, proclaiming the Lord is upright (Psalm 92:14, 15).

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give me the faith to believe that Your power and strength will enable me to flourish even through my pain and problems.  Amen.

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