Palm trees have a very special meaning to me. When my family and I moved to South Florida the palm trees overwhelmed me. For thirty some years I had waited for a vision to come true. When God called me to work with children, there was something very specific in the vision he gave me: palm trees! No wonder I was overtaken with emotion. I had come to Florida specifically to develop curriculum for children, and very special children: Hispanics! And I was surrounded by the palm trees I had seen as a child in a vision.
My friend Nancy writes devotionals that she sends to an elite group. Believe it or not, I’m one of them! And why not, I’m her “adopted” sister. During a difficult time in her life she “adopted” my parents, and I came as a tag-along! The devotional today was about palm trees, the most resilient of trees. Here it is for a wider group to read:
The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree
[be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful];
they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon
[majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].
Psalm 92:12 Amplified Bible
The Palm Tree is the most resilient of trees. It has a genetic make-up that allows it to be very flexible. As a matter of fact, it has the capacity to bend almost double without breaking. It has been well documented that during storms with hurricane force winds, only the Palm Tree is able to withstand without breaking or being uprooted. Not only so, but when the ill winds are past, the tree just pops back up into its original position totally unfazed. Large Oak Trees are pulled up by the roots. Other trees are snapped in two like toothpicks, but the Palm Tree still stands strong amid the destruction surrounding it. It is also believed that its root system is not weakened, but actually strengthened by these storms.
So when the psalmist David says that the righteous or Godly man will flourish like the Palm Tree, it is a most heartening statement…one that can fill us with hope, peace and expectation. Read that verse in the Amplified Bible again. When the unexpected storms of life roll in like a tsunami, trying to wash away your dreams and drown your hopes along with them; when hurricane force winds of doubt and worry try to uproot your faith and topple your confidence… don’t give up and don’t give in.
Weather the storm like the Palm Tree you are! You may be bent over by the force of the winds, but get up! You may be bent, but you’re not broken! Your roots are grounded in the Word of Almighty God… continually growing stronger as the storm rages on. Don’t lose your peace! Don’t lose your joy! Know that this too will pass and your life will continue to be long-lived, stately, upright, useful and fruitful. “For that (Godly) person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)
One more thing came to my mind as I was writing this… it was branches from the Palm Tree that the people laid across Jesus path as He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem right before His crucifixion. Could that also holds a symbolic significance to our relationship with Him? We, the righteous, are like the Palm Tree and we lay our fruitful boughs at His feet in obedience, service and adoration to our King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Blessed be His name forever and ever!
May we flourish like a Palm Tree, now and forever!