Planted, they will flourish
By Teresa LeNeave
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, proclaiming, "The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him." NIV
As I think of the world we live in; the sadness so many young people experience; the effect drugs, alcohol and divorce has on the lives of children; and the confusion they must experience when adults can't find a space to agree on hardly anything, I wonder where their strength to survive will come from. Then, I realize it will come from the same thing we all have to find. Jesus.
In scripture, a righteous man is compared to two trees; a palm tree and a cedar tree. Why are we compared to a palm tree? Maybe, because it's strengthened by adversity. It grows very straight, but bends with the wind. Each strong wind makes it more resilient. Its fruit is found in the top of the tree where it's protected. Our children must be taught to expect adversity, but know that God will bring them through victorious every time. They are protected. They are not in their pain alone. They need to be told that.
The cedar is said to be the king of all trees. It's magnificent and grows to great heights, which is also a picture of a righteous man.
The key to being a fruitful palm tree or magnificent cedar tree is where they are planted. This verse says, "... planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish." The word, 'planted', is important. It speaks of commitment and staying in one place so it can become strong and deeply rooted. Many of today's Christians are not willing to be planted anywhere for long. Without a good root system, fruit will be weak and damaged ... if it grows at all. You must be planted to bloom.
Kids need stability. They need the same thing a tree needs. Stable ground and nurturing.
As a result of being planted, the Bible promises they will still be bringing forth fruit in old age. I love the last of this verse that says they will be crying out, "The Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no wickedness in Him." The words from their mouths will be words of faith and praise. What a blessing to know our children will be blessed and living for God long after we're gone.
"Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God." We want our children to be "planted", strong and productive ... flourishing." Balance will make all the difference in a child. Let them see balance in you, in the home and the life we live around them. Planted...they will flourish.