I still have palm tree envy. A few years ago, while on vacation after a rough season of life, I gazed often at the palm trees. I love how they sway in the gentle breezes and also the storms of life. They also grow whichever way is necessary to reach out for the source of their strength-the sun. I want to be like a palm tree-swaying in the storms of life and seeking out the source of my strength-God’s Son.
I am usually not a sway in the breeze type of gal. I tend to want things a certain way. But on that vacation, after a storm in my life, I realized I needed to sway more. I understood God may allow storms in our lives for reasons we can’t understand. Instead of holding firm and gritting my teeth through the storms of life, I could learn to sway. Swaying means I bend and not break. Swaying means I am flexible and don’t insist on my own way. Sounds very much like 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
The palm trees will seek out the sun, no matter how they need to grow to reach it. They literally have horizontal bends in their trunks where they reach beyond circumstances to seek their strength. When the palm tree bends to grow in a new direction due to some unexpected storm of life, it eventually reaches upward once more. When the tree grows vertically again, it is on a new and clearer path. What a great example of how to weather life’s storms.
I may think I’m seeking the Son every day, but do I do anything-even go sideways in my life-to seek Him? Not always, I’m afraid. Being faithful and living my life for Him means seeking Him, no matter the cost. Maybe it’s standing up for something or someone even when difficult. Maybe it’s swaying instead of holding fast.
Whether it’s a big storm brewing on the horizon or a small shower, change is a constant in life. My plan is to adjust from having palm tree envy to being a palm tree. I hope and pray to sway with the changes of life, being flexible and patient with myself and others. I know it’s possible by seeking out the source of my strength-the Son. Even if I have to grow in a different direction.