Jerry and I serve in the South Pacific nations, made up of many tropical islands. Most inhabitants understand what it’s like to be in the eye of the storm.
In 2015 and 2016, Fiji and Vanuatu experienced the terrible cyclones Pam and Winston, which demolished buildings and tropical plant life, leaving an aftermath of devastation behind. Some of these once beautiful tropical islands were left looking like a desert wasteland.
When the winds of a cyclone hit, the palm tree is left battered and bent. The palm is not uprooted, but it is humbly bent low to the ground. This bent palm tries to revive itself once again after the storm. The sunshine appears through the gray clouds, and a gentle breeze blows them away. Soon, hope is rising within the life once battered and bent.
Day by day, at each sunrise, the palm tree rises up, straightens and finally stands. Standing once again against the backdrop of a bright orange sunset is the beautiful silhouette of a now strong, erect palm, lifted up in thanksgiving and praise to the strength of the Creator. The palm tree was created to stand no matter what, its roots strong and immovable through every storm.
“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon” (Ps. 92:12, NKJV).
The storms of life can be painful and frightening. You may feel like they will never stop beating against every fiber of your being, but as you bend low to the ground and feel the posture of humility, there is hope in this place.
After all you’ve endured, now the light and the warmth of God’s love reaches you deep inside, raising you up little by little. As you gain God’s new strength, soon you are standing once again as if you’ve never experienced the storm at all. You sway in the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit as the new day is dawning and know that God, in His timing, brings restoration, healing and no want.
I am in awe of the One who made it all! God has given us the ability to rise again and to stand even stronger than before. The new fruit will appear, and, the truth is, we will flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Be encouraged today that, when you go through the storms of life, you will be standing once again after the storm. We must ask ourselves:
- Who stands with us and gets us through the storms of life, bringing hope? (Ps. 5:11).
- When we are humbled, who supplies new strength, new growth and new posture so we are standing once again? (Ex. 15:2).
- When we feel battered by the storm, mentally exhausted and spiritually dry inside, whom shall we trust to regain perspective and become flourishing, fruitful and restored? (Ps. 34:9).
Lord, I trust You today to see me through the storms of life and restore me to who You made me to be. May the Holy Spirit give me strength day by day, to flourish again and to be fruitful.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
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