I love palm trees and I love to paint them. One day I came across, Psalm 92:12a, which says, “the righteous man will flourish like the palm tree.” I wanted to understand what the Psalmist was implying so I did a study of the Palm. This is what I found out…
Palms need a lot of sunshine. In fact, they like full sun exposure. They often grow close to water. They require good drainage and moisture. Fertilizer stimulates rapid growth. Some will tolerate poor soil and drought, but they grow much faster with good conditions. Bottom line, if palms are taken care of, they can resist most problems and thrive.
Palm trees do not have dead wood forming the trunk, nor do they have layers of bark. Instead they have long trunks that are ringed with scars from previous growth. The dead fronds need to be trimmed away for their true beauty to show. Their trunk can be compared to a thousand small soda straws, which pass the sap to the growing buds or the “crown” at the top. Therefore, the entire trunk can be considered alive. If a Palm is injured, as long as one “straw” is able to pass the sap, the Palm will survive.
The seeds of the Palm tree are in its fruit. A lot of Palms are difficult to transplant unless the seedlings have a clear trunk. Once the roots take hold and the trunk begins to form, a storm can blow the Palm over and it will keep growing, gradually turning its crown back toward the sun.
For the follower of Christ a definite comparison can be made...
Just as a Palm needs a lot of sunshine, the follower of Christ needs a lot of exposure to the “Son”. Spending time with Christ through prayer and reading and studying the Bible (fertilizer) stimulates our growth.
Just as the dead fronds need to be stripped from the Palm, removal of the things that hinder our growth needs to take place for the true beauty of Christ to shine through.
Just as an injured Palm can survive as long as one “straw” is able to pass the sap, we as Christians can get through struggles and difficulties if we are rooted in the Word of God. When the storms come we may feel blown over and knocked down but we can take heart, because eventually we will be able to stand tall with the crown of righteousness upon our head. I think this is why it is said that the Palm is a symbol of permanence and strength.
In conclusion, may you hunger and thirst after righteousness and flourish like a palm tree.
Palm Trees, Cycads, Bromeliads and other Tropical Plants. www.palm-trees.org.
Palm Trees. www.units.muohio.edu. 10/1/2003.
Stresau, Frederic B. “Florida, My Eden”. Florida Classics Library. 1986
The MacArthur Study Bible NASB. La Habra: Thomas Nelson, 2006.