“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree” (Psalm 92:12) I took this pic today because I remembered this verse. To me, palm trees + Psalm 92:12 preach an amazing message: 1) this verse says the “righteous” flourish. Not the self-declared perfect, not the perfect-wannabes, not the judgers of others’ imperfections. But the righteous. What’s “righteous” mean? When I looked it up, it said: morally right. But how do I define “morally-right?” I can’t define it by people because no person is morally-perfect to define it. If Raul would define “morally right,” what happens when he messes up? If my counselor defines it, what happens when she messes up? If my parents define it, what happens when they mess up? Jesus Christ is perfect, and when He came to Earth as a person, He did in a morally right & perfect way. Then He was crucified for my (& all of our) immoral unrighteousness. He rose from His grave, and ascended back to where He came from. No one else has done this—furthermore, there’s empirical proof He did. So He, and His Book, define “morally right” to me. HE defines my righteousness.
2) Why did the psalmist ascribe a palm tree to this verse? Well maybe for a couple reasons. One, palm trees don’t grow away from storms. Two, palm trees don’t break in storms. Palm trees can bend to the point where they are horizontal to the ground! Palm trees endure storms, bend into them, stand up again when they pass.
3) “The righteous will flourish like palm trees.” To me, it preaches a message that if Jesus is my righteousness, then in my storms, I will flourish. The amazing irony!!! I won’t grow out from the storms, run away from the storms or break from the storms. When they come, I’ll bend into them & stand up again. I’ll flourish! I hope this encourages a fellow palm in a storm today. 🌴
“And God made the two great lights–the greater light (the sun) to rule the day,” Genesis 1:16. The sun has incomprehensible statistics: it is approximately 330,000 times bigger than our home planet; its surface temperature is 10,000 degrees; it’s like 93 million miles away from your living room recliner. But as incomprehensible as the sun is, it still has an approachable-ness to it, because God made it. Do you know how big and mighty God must be since HE made the sun? It’s probably like a ping pong ball in His hand. I love it when God’s sun shines on me. First, it reminds me of His promise in Numbers 6:14-25, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.” Secondly, though I don’t see God face to face or hear God on my cell, I can step outside and feel his presence on my face. Who, but God, can take a bright, shining star and have it greet you with its radiant aura? Recently, on a walk, I had burdens and stresses on my mind. But I could not escape the fact that every street I walked, every corner I turned, I could feel the sun. The sun went with me everywhere, as if God summoned it to remind me that He IS everywhere. If you are discouraged or burdened, I say find the sun. Even if it briefly peeks through the clouds and casts itself onto your windshield–be assured, God is near. The sun is not a cosmic mystery. God made it, and God made us. And though we worship God only, the sun is a daily reminder of His proximity, perfection and power to you and to me.
Romans 8:38 says, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” We can get on each other’s nerves and want space from each other. But God wants to be where we are. God never gets sick of us. And you never get on his nerves. As a rebellious teen, I can remember thinking, “I don’t want God to be where I am, then I won’t be able to do what I want to do!” What foolish talk. It’s only when we’re doing things we shouldn’t be doing we wish God wasn’t there. But then when we need a miracle, an answer, a hope, we want Him as close as possible! Thankfully, God doesn’t listen to us. Thankfully God’s never said to me, “Are you here, Heather? It’s me, God.” Cause God has always been there and God has never left. When I invited Jesus into my heart at 4 years old on Green Road in Haskins, Ohio, I invited His protective-peaceful-presence into my life, forever. And NOTHING can separate it. After almost 4 decades of *never* being out of his eyesight, away from his reach or off his radar—I boldly testify—it’s a journey I’m glad I’m on.