Today’s scriptures are striking. ‘The godly WILL flourish … for they are transplanted to the Lord’s own House’ and ‘They flourish in the courts of our God’, where truth and righteousness abound. Some dictionary definitions of flourish are to ‘grow vigorously, thrive, prosper’.
The Lord wants His people to flourish – so He does the choosing, the planting and the tending. He is the Master gardener. As we move through life, He plants and replants at His will, and in each planting, there are winter, spring, summer and autumn seasons. In today’s verses, the psalmist likens the righteous to palm trees and the cedars of Lebanon.
The palm tree is sturdy. It can grow in a variety of environments, but seems to flourish in the dry desert sands. Its roots descend until they find enough water to sustain its tall and stately profile. It bends with the wind, but springs back to its full height when the winds are abated.
As the planting of the Lord, we too, find ourselves where the Lord wills, when we listen to His voice and go where He says to go. Jesus instructs us to ‘Abide’ in Him, so that even in ‘desert’ seasons, when it seems the Lord is hiding His face, our sustenance will come from Him alone, for only He can sustain us. Bend us as it may, the contrary winds of life cannot uproot those who are planted in the Lord. Difficult seasons end. They are always transitional. Spring is ahead.
Also, it is He who does the ‘transplanting’, so that He can bring about His mighty sovereign work of grace in our lives. We’re transplanted so that ‘we who were afar off’, can be ‘made nigh’ by the blood of Christ. His purpose is that we will flourish and bear much fruit, even in old age, to our Heavenly Father’s glory.
The majestic cedar of Lebanon is a symbol of fruitfulness and strength. Its toughness, oil, rich fragrance, and resistance to insects and temperature, are symbolic of the character and life of the one who belongs to Christ. It too, depends on well-watered roots, as we depend on the life of Christ.
As we weather the storms of life with our hand in the hand of our Maker, the oil of the Holy Spirit keeps the enemy at bay, while the exquisite fragrance of Jesus emanates to those who don’t know Him. For where we go, He goes. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
To flourish is our Heavenly Father’s will for each of us as we abide in Christ, for in Him we live and move and have our being.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for planting me in Your House and bidding me to draw near. Help me to keep abiding in You each day, no matter what the season, or where You might transplant me. For, without You, I can do nothing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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