Monday, March 29, 2010

Pondering Palms

The [uncompromisingly) righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful." 
Psalm 92:12a (Amplified)


Many Hebrew parents named their girls "date palm," a name that symbolized elegance, grace, and beauty.

These trees once flourished in the Holy Land. The ancients called Jericho "the city of palms," and some believe the date palm could be the oldest fruit-bearing tree in the world.

Date palms stretch toward heaven, growing a foot a year. They can reach heights of 80-100 feet, especially if suckers are pruned. Each leaf on its "crown" can grow 10-20 feet in length, sheltering clusters of fruit. Each cluster can weigh as much as 20-40 pounds and bear 600-1700 dates. The palms can produce fruit for over 60 years.

An Arab saying states that a palm should have its "head in the fire and its roots in the water." They are "children of the desert," and their presence in the burning sand signifies a place of rest and refreshment, life-giving water and nourishment for the body. An oasis in a harsh world.

The stem of the date palm sways back and forth in a storm, flexible and unyielding. Its length bears scars showing where leaves have fallen off.

Ancients celebrated its more than 360 uses from beauty to food to medicine to building. The tree could satisfy almost every temporal need.

Amazing trees.

Symbols of strength, prosperity, joy, and victory.

People often waved branches in the air or carpeted the road to honor winning athletes, conquering heroes, and arriving kings.

Like Jesus.

"So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. And as they went, they kept shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is He and praise to Him Who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
John 12:13 (Amplified)

"Save us. Save us now!"

The people expected an earthly kingdom. Salvation from Rome. They organized an impromptu TEA party. They paved the road with their garments and palm fronds. Expecting freedom. Not prepared for disappointment. They didn't realize that Jesus had come to Jerusalem to die. For them. For us. That His eyes were on eternity.

They didn't know then that the palms that had blessed and healed and gently cupped a face would soon quiver with the excruciating pain of crucifixion nails.

Many years ago, I remember lying on my back on my living room floor, arms outstretched, begging God to let me feel what Jesus felt. And I heard Him speak to my heart. "It's over. Finished. It's not your pain to bear."

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."
Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)

I want to flourish like a palm tree. Pruning life suckers. Stretching upward, yet bowing with fruitfulness. Diving deep into living water. Sustained through hot times and an oasis for others on desert journeys.

I envision my tattooed picture on and my name carved into His palm.

I want to live with my own palms wide open to surrender those temporal things I want to cling to. 

With palms down to release worry and stress.

With palms up to receive His love and peace and strength.

What is your palm position today?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King


Billy Coffey said...

That was beautiful, Sandra. Let me be a palm, too.

S. Etole said...

Isn't a privilege that we can share our hand with His?

Melissa_Rae said...

This is lovely!

Sandra Heska King said...

I also learned that though a palm will produce fruit for so many years, it won't start producing for almost 10 years. I think there's a lesson there, too.

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