Like the Vigorous Olive Tree
The last few days have been stifling. For us Upstaters, we've gone from rainy and cold to hot and heavy overnight.
This morning, I reached to turn on the air-conditioner in the window and felt a slight, cool breeze coming from the sides of the unit. Cool?
What a welcome surprise it was to open my front door and feel fresh, sixty-degree morning air. No humidity. The climate had changed.
Have you noticed a spiritual climate these days that is noticeably dark and heavy? It's like an atmosphere of anxiety has been dropped over this region.
I wonder how many times I have owned the 'anxiety' I feel when it's a spiritual heaviness outside myself. It's not always easy to discern. I've learned to go to my porch swing and pray. Lord, is there fear in my heart?
Sometimes, I can see it the minute I ask Him. Sometimes, I need to align my thoughts with the Truth. But these days something different is in the air. More people are talking about anxiety. It's affecting our kids at a time in their lives meant to be full of freedom and joy.
I think of the psalmist, David, who was hunted and persecuted, he must have known roaring anxiety at times. David called himself a "green olive tree" in the house of God. In Spurgeon's exposition of Psalm 52, he writes of David, "I am not plucked up or destroyed, but I am like a flourishing olive, which out of the rock draws oil, and amid the drought still lives and grows." (from Psalm 52:8)
The reference to being "green" is not referring to the color of the olive leaves which are dull and appear as though they are tipped with dust. Green refers to David's youthful vigor. Vigor means full of good health and enthusiasm for life.
Olive trees are drought resistant. They have been created to endure arid climates and flourish through long dry seasons. There are a few trees in the Mediterranean that scientists have certified to be over 2,000 years old and remarkably still bear fruit.
David didn't have the best of circumstances, and he sure messed up at times, but David still made the bold declaration that he was a vigorous olive tree. David knew the Rock on which he placed his heart.
I believe the climate of anxiety is going to continue because we are in the end times. The atmosphere of fear is all over this nation as divisions are widening, and darkness is spreading. There are reasons to feel anxious these days--but we have to be like David.
If the enemy can get us into fear and anxiety, we'll be less of a threat. Our light, meant to shine as brightly as a city on a hill, flickers and dies. Fear extinguishes bold faith. There's nothing that causes the devil to tremble like a believer who knows God has made them flourishing, vigorous, olive trees that will not be plucked up or destroyed.
So, my final word is: "Wake-up! The Bridegroom is coming! Make your stand against anxiety and fear. Don't own the warfare. God has NOT given us shrinking spirits. In Him we can rise above every 'atmosphere' and be like the flouishing olive tree.
NOTE* This beautiful photograph was taken by my grandson, William, age 13.