Thriving in a spiritual desert
PSALM 92:12 - The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
The righteous man, the Bible says, will flourish, while the wicked man will be destroyed. If a wicked man is like grass, the psalmist writes, a righteous man is like a tree. And not just any tree. A palm tree. What’s so special about a palm tree? Well, first of all, it grows upright, in harmony with the pull of gravity. A righteous man is upright, too, and his life is in harmony with the moral universe in which he lives. The palm tree also grows in unlikely environments...places where no other tree will grow. It even grows in the desert, its roots reaching down deep for nourishment. In the same way, a spirit filled Christian can thrive in a spiritual desert. Palm trees grow from the center out, not adding external layers, but being renewed from within. A righteous man may show signs of age or wear externally, but he is constantly being renewed from within by the Holy Spirit who dwells in him. Finally, the palm tree is evergreen. It never loses its leaves or turns brown and brittle. It is always in season. The righteous man is full of life, too. As the years go by he grows in grace, always vibrant, always valuable, always flourishing.
The promise of God for the righteous man or woman is that there will be life and sweetness and produce and growth, not just for a brief season, but for an entire lifetime! The wicked have their day...but it is fleeting. The righteous endure, and their productivity only increases as the years go by.