The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
Psalm 92: 12-13 (NIV)
When life starts to go south, or things aren’t happening as we anticipated…we could all take a lesson from the PALM TREE. Just like the mighty oak or cedar tree, the palm tree has roots that grow deep into the ground. During hurricanes though, the palm tree will actually strengthen its roots while the branches are bent over to withstand the forces of the wind.
Just like the palm tree, we need to learn how to bounce back when circumstances aren’t going as we expected. Remember that the rain will fall on the just and the unjust. We all need to learn how to bend when it’s necessary to seize the right outcome, because God also promises…
He will also send you rain for the seed your sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
Isaiah 30:23 (NIV)
So what can we do in our bent-over position to ensure that we will receive rain and plentiful seed? Hurricane forces are not what we envisioned when we prayed for nourishing rain. Why are God’s ways often times different from our own?
Sometimes we just need to think outside the box. We’ve already concluded that this would be advantageous for us. Will it do anything to help others with their mission? The Lord wants us to work together to fulfill His plans for us here on earth.
Sometimes I need to continuously remind myself it’s NOT ALL ABOUT ME! Others’ dreams and plans are just as valuable and important as mine. Dare I try to learn some new truth from their plans? Might God’s plan be to bring nourishment to all of us?
Here is a personal example of how this played out in my life…
After my traumatic brain injury in 1997, I wanted so much to be a person that could offer help to others. I needed to feel like my life was still of some use.
At one time, I was a aerobic dance instructor. Now I had years of prompts from my physical therapists to get my muscles and joints moving correctly. Could I possibly put those skills together to assist others in their fitness routine?
God gave me the perfect cliental with seniors who needed to keep their muscles working at optimal levels. It seems they needed to be doing the same exercises I need to do to regain my strength and mobility. So now I’m able to use my fitness training and my physical therapy instruction AND combine it with some fun music to make it feel like one continuous dance routine. We all have fun and we ALL benefit from the aerobic dance routine!
So just like a palm tree, from my bent-over position I’m still able to offer assistance to others by demonstrating how they can keep their bodies strong, supple and stable. I lost my natural stability with my brain injury, but by simply touching the arm of a chair for balance, I’m able to show others how to hang onto their own stability.
Is there something that has you bent-over in life? This is where prayer becomes indispensible! I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) to run things by God first, BEFORE taking any action.
Is there some way we can use our circumstances to help others? That will leave us feeling pretty darn good about ourselves! Take a lesson from the palm tree.
Then when we get to the place that we’re standing tall again, we can give all the glory to God.
You always knew we would face obstacles and challenges in life. You’ve also put in each of us the desire to turn those lemons into lemonade. It’s how You made us!
Thank You for the lesson of the palm tree. Help us to always remember that You can work best in us from a bent-over position.
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