SUMMER PSALMS | FOR FLOURISHING

Welcome to Summer Psalms! I'm so excited to be reading, praying, and sharing stories through some select favorite Psalms of mine this summer. Our first Psalm comes from Psalms 99:12.

The best kind of road on my map is lined with palm trees. Passing by palms mean something good is just ahead: the beach. These tall and majestic trees take me back to being little. The very first time I saw a real live palm tree was the summer after kindergarten when my family took the 14 something hour drive from Arkansas to the Gulf Coast. I was captivated. Six year old me was totally thriving on my first beach trip; sandy toes and all. When I think of this verse, I can’t help smile when I remember how and toweringly tall those trees felt to me. They grew peacefully where they were planted. They looked like they belonged right there in that very spot. Psalms 92:12-13 tells us the righteous flourish this way; made to be planted in God’s house. The Passion Translation give us another glimpse closer into how amazing this Truth is. It says the righteous are transplanted — that is, uprooted from wherever they are — and planted into God’s own house. What a beautiful inheritance we have. No matter where we might find ourselves today, our home is set in His “heavenly courtyard” (verse 13 TPT).
  
Palm trees are peacefully beautiful, but they’re also tough. I’ve been lucky to never experience hurricane winds first hand, but I’ve watched my fair share of The Weather Channel. If palms were super brittle, they would break immediately at the storm’s impact. But no, palm trees live bent for good reason and are well-equipped to withstand pressing conditions. When storms come and winds blow, palms lean into the storm. (I've heard they can bend 40 to 50 degrees!)* The very design of these trees — from complex bundled layers of the trunk to flexible nature of the frond leaves  — is made for it. They can adapt from sunny weather and light breezes to heavy rain and tumultuous wind. So with us. Planted firmly in God’s house, we lean into the storms of life with the Lord on our side. Winds blow and try to knock us over, but we won’t be shaken. We stay bent on living God’s ever-true Word in every season. He is sovereign over every storm and always with us. May palm trees be an ebenezer  — a visual reminder  — of God's faithfulness to us in the sunny and the stormy days. May it be so.
  
Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the gift of new and abundant life. You alone make me right with God. In my sin, I cannot earn salvation. Forgive me for falling short. Help me continually bring my sin and need to the cross. Plant my heart firmly in Your heavenly courts; my eternal home with You. No matter what life brings, I will stand tall and flourish like a palm tree, for my righteousness is rooted in You.
Amen.
   

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*Helpful palm tree insights from https://www.treehugger.com/how-do-palm-trees-survive-hurricanes-4858412

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