meme palm treeThanks to numerous Saturday morning cartoons and assorted other shows and movies, I have a vivid mental picture of a man (or rabbit) struggling across a parched desert landscape. Just as shaky legs collapse and the background music brings a feeling of doom … there on the horizon appears a palm tree.

Our hero is saved. Why? Because palm trees offer food, shade, and the promise of water to weary travelers. The date palm, common in desert oasis locations, provides a concentrated energy food that is easily stored and transported. Coconuts, palm fruit, and acai are harvested from other varieties while other cultures make starchy sago from part of the trunk.

The wood, canes, and fronds of a palm tree can be used for shelter, shade, and making baskets or hats. Fibers have been used to make rope, brushes, doormats, and mattresses. Palm roots are able to dig deep underground and search for water, even in the driest places on earth. Since palm trees usually thrive near a desert oasis (or tropical) water source … spotting a tall palm tree on the horizon can help locate watering holes.

[Tweet “Why the palm frond came to symbolize triumph over adversity. via @CandeeFick”]

It’s not difficult to imagine why the palm frond came to symbolize triumph over adversity. After a difficult journey through the wilderness, the palm represented survival and rest. During Roman times, palm leaves were given to those who returned successfully from war or as rewards to those who won games. In Judaism, the date palm represented peace and plenty. So when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the people laid palm branches on the road before Him, it meant a whole lot more than a padded path for the donkey to walk on.

The Psalmist wrote: “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. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” (Psalm 92:12-14 NIV)

In my desire to be like a tree this year, am I like a palm tree? Am I flourishing in the desert? Do I tap into the living water, grow strong, and bear fruit? When weary travelers see my life, do they see a place of rest? Have I triumphed over adversity?

What about you? Have you ever found an oasis after a difficult journey? Have you triumphed over adversity? Do you know people who are like palm trees?

(Note: For more devotional thoughts about trees, see Be Like a Tree: The Keys For a Fruitful Life.)

Like A Tree – Palm Tree
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