The Christian is likened to the palm tree. [Psalm 92:12]. It is a good likeness.
It is upright. Canadian trees come in all shapes and sizes – bent, knotted and twisted with many branches. By contrast, the palm is upright, the stately sentinel of the desert. Wind or weight cannot mar its uprightness. The righteous are to stand tall for the Lord.
It is unmistakable. Many trees are hard to identify, but not the palm. Do we live unmistakably Christ-like lives?
It is useful. It is called “nature’s living supermarket.” Its fruit is used for food, its sap for drink, its fibres for rope, its trunk for wood, and its seed for animal food. It begs the question, what do I do for the Lord?
It bears its fruit high. Most trees like the apple, peach, and orange hang their fruit downwards for all to see and admire. The palm lifts up its fruit heavenward as it were for God. What a lesson for us. We should lift up our fruit for the glory of God and not self.
It is evergreen. Neither the height of summer nor the dead of winter can hinder the palm. Likewise, the Christian is to be “Instant in season and out of season” [2 Timothy 4:2].
It has overcoming power. The palm frond has been a symbol of victory from Bible times [Leviticus 23:40] to the present. The Lord wants us to live victorious lives for Him.
It ushers in good news. The classic example has the weary traveller crossing the parched desert, dying of thirst. He sees a palm tree in the distance. He is encouraged for “water is to be found there.” The classic warning. The weary traveller sees a palm tree, but it is not real. It is a mirage. It has the appearance of hope, but closer inspection reveals nothing.
What does a closer inspection of our Christian testimony reveal? Hope for the hopeless? Am I a palm tree Christian or a fruitless and empty mirage?