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Seeds of the Kingdom

Lessons from the Palm Tree

by Christel Baxter

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful].
Psalm 92:12, Amplified

In the above Scripture the righteous are compared to a flourishing palm tree. I decided to investigate this, and was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered about palm trees!
Palm trees are very resilient trees. They are almost hurricane proof, because their genetic make-up allows them to be very flexible. It has been well documented that during storms with hurricane force winds, the palm tree is seldom uprooted and destroyed. In fact, palm trees can bend down almost to ground level during a violent storm, but will recover to their original position when the storm has passed. Palm trees may lose their leaves during a storm, but they grow back perfectly again.

Psalm 37:23-24 says, ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.’ When the storms of life hit us with hurricane force, or when we stumble because of wrong choices or temptations, we can be like the palm tree that is able to recover its original position, because God never leaves us to fight on our own. He upholds us. He grasps our hand in support. He restores.

Palm trees are self-cleaning, which means they naturally know how to shed and get rid of dead leaves. However, they do occasionally need some pruning when dead or dying leaves do not fall off by themselves. John 15:2 teaches that God cuts away and trims off every branch in our lives that does not bear fruit – the dead parts that have no life. He tells us to abide in Him and to obey His Word, because His Word washes and cleanses us. Epesians. 5:26 calls it ‘the washing of water with the Word.’ When we abide in Him, and allow Him to nourish our spirits, we will be like the palm tree, knowing when to shed the ‘dead leaves’ that stunt our spiritual growth.

Studies have shown that palm trees that grow together with other palm trees seem to survive severe storms with less damage than those growing in isolation. What a great picture of the importance of being part of the body of Christ! When we position ourselves in fellowship with other believers, we enjoy the love, support and protection that come from this. ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Finally, the older the palm tree gets, the sweeter the fruit it produces. It is comforting to know that as a child of God, I have no ‘expiry date’ when it comes to fruit bearing! In fact, the verses following our key Scripture in Psalm 92 go on to say, ‘planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him’” (Psalm 92:13-15).
Flourish, child of God, flourish!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You are the One who sustains me through every storm and season of my life. My desire is to flourish and grow and bear fruit, so that my life can bring glory to Your name. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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