Today’s Truth

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon (Psalm 92:12 NIV).

Friend to Friend

There’s an abundance of palm trees in Israel. I’m not sure why that surprised me as we traveled throughout the Holy Land, but it did. Not only was I blown away by the populous palm presence, but I was also blown away that palm trees don’t just produce coconuts! Did you know this? There’s actually a type of palm that produces dates.

What? Yep. Date palms are all over Israel. Farm after farm of them. And here, my whole life I just gave palm trees coconut creds.

Silly, Gwen.

I learned a few other interesting insights about palms on the day we visited Magdala, an ancient city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, near the small, present day Israeli town of Migdal. Known as the hometown of Mary Magdalene, Magdala is filled with archeological ruins, including a first-century synagogue that biblical scholars are confident is a place where Jesus taught and visited.

As we stood near the archives of the Migdal Synagogue, our guide discussed some amazing characteristics of palm trees. She explained that palm trees can bend 180 degrees and then bounce back up to standing. They stand tall and live long. They’re able to withstand high winds, are resilient in resistance and can bend low without breaking. This, she explained, is why the Bible talks of the righteous being like palms.

“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.”  Psalm 92:12-15

Psalm 92 is an inspiring call to worship that causes my heart to want greater doses of righteousness in my life.

What would it look like for us to flourish like a palm tree?

Here a few ways this might play out…

It could look like a contrite heart bouncing back up to its standing in grace after being bent 180 degrees low in rebellion.

It could look like standing tall in the dignity and purity of Christ by choosing to say nothing instead of something when tempted to gossip.

It could look like soul-resilience. Like being able to withstand the high winds of heart-wounds or health-bending diagnoses in the strength of God, without breaking.

Let’s go! I want to flourish like a palm tree and live tall with resilience and strength. I want God’s love to be so deeply rooted in my heart that I thrive no matter what challenge I face. Don’t you?

We can flourish despite resistance because the power of Christ is at work within us, giving us everything we need to bounce back and thrive in righteousness.

Let’s Pray

Most High and Holy Lord, thank You for greeting me with love and faithfulness every morning and night. Help me to bend, not break, in the winds of all I’ve got happening with my life, heart and home right now. Please give me a fresh strength and vitality today to walk in Your ways and thrive in Your grace.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

What has you close to breaking right now? What would it look like for you to withstand high winds with resilience today? What are your biggest personal takeaways from this message?

Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.

More from the Girlfriends

Free Psalm ChallengeYou want to bounce back better, right? Without question, reading the Bible helps make this happen. If you’d like to read and study the Bible, but at your own pace and in your own space, this is the perfect way to get you started!

Get your FREE downloadable 5-Day Psalm Challenge now and enjoy studying the Bible in the comfort of your home, in a time frame that fits with your personal schedule.

© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

20 Responses to “Bouncing Back”

  1. Ann says:

    Please pray for me, I am at my breaking point! Nothing is happening,nothing at all. Looks like a drought, help me talk to God, He should have mercy on me. He might hear you for me

  2. Kate says:

    Hi can you please pray for my sleep. I have been struggling.

  3. Rebecca says:

    My prayer in response to today’s devotion:
    Lots, Keep me strong and resilient in the impending changes here at home. Even though I am the one who initiates our divorce, I am still hurting just much as Joe. I made a conscious decision to end it and break my marriage vows because I just cannot support Joe emotionally and still take care of myself. Thank you for setting off the alarm. I wasn’t ready before. I am now. I am a strong and beautiful woman. One of the many women You have created. Blessings to God in the Highest! Hosanna! Amen

  4. Tamara says:

    I just found out that my 28 year old son who moved away from home, to live in California, is gay. He knows the Lord! He loves Jesus! He has been a worship leader! What can I do? I am heartbroken.

  5. Arlene says:

    Please pray for my husband, Terry & I.
    He is an alcoholic, and when he drinks he’s verbally abusive- calling me ugly names & telling me how worthless I am.
    He has already had one accident with his drinking and driving- he wrecked a classic 1957 Ranchero.
    Was also given a DUI and 2 years of probation.
    I want to remain faithful to my wedding vows and know that God lead me to this man late in life for a purpose.
    We married when we were both in our 50’s.
    He was a confirmed bachelor, and I had divorced my first husband FOR the very same reason- alcoholism !
    I didn’t know that Terry was a heavy drinker.

    Please pray for us !

  6. Karen says:

    Please pray for my daughter Abby who is struggling to grow emotionally

  7. Stephanie says:

    I recently lost my mom and the loss has been painful. Close friends I thought would be with me during this time have stayed away which is hard to accept. The Lord has raised up others who have offered prayers and words of comfort. He has given me peace to bend but stand when I feel crushed with grief. He is renewing me daily & showing me how to be of support & comfort to others when they face grief. Thank you Lord for your loving kindness and grace.

  8. Robin says:

    Thank you for this devotion this morning! In the face of becoming empty nesters in the fall, our home is going through a transition that will not be easy. My husband and I need to learn how to have fun together again and bring back the passion in our relationship. Please Lord help us to do that through being selfless and bending to one another’s needs.

    In Jesus name,

  9. Mary says:

    Thanks for the story about the palm date trees. That is so interesting. What a beautiful reminder of how great is our God, that he provides a tree that bends rather than breaks and produces such wonderful fruit. He has given us the strength to come back from all kinds of trials. I am heading to training soon to help me heal my wounded heart through the power of his love.

  10. Vickie says:

    I have two friends that are facing strong winds of adversity in their lives right now. They are both strong Christian women. My prayer is that they can bend, and stand tall and straight again!

  11. Yvonne says:

    Who else but God could go as low as you can go and bring you right back up to standing position? I know because I have been that low and God placed me back in standing position. When I think about His beauty and strength, I can’t help but stand in awe of who He is. His unconditional love carries me when I don’t think I’m going to make it. Thank you, Lord, for giving us Psalm 92 and the illustration of the palm tree.

  12. Debbie says:

    Thank you for the encouragement of this devotional today. I am trying to be like the palm tree. My husband is dealing with emotional problems and our son has made choices that has torn our family apart. I’m weary and hurting but….I know our God is faithful. He knows my heart. Thank you for praying for me
    God Bless!

  13. Pam says:

    The very first thing I do when I get to work is read Girlfriends in God daily devotionals. During good and bad times my day always starts off better having read them. I am going through a very hard heartbreak AND tough work issue. This mornings devotional hit me where I live, I hope and pray that I will become upright soon. God is so wonderful. I just need to remember that he loves me.

  14. Lydia says:

    I am facing very strong winds of adversity right now. My oldest son is an alcoholic and has been to rehab 3 times. I am at a lost of what to do as I have been there for him and tried to help but he needs to help himself and he is not. I am afraid that I will answer a call and someone tells me that he is dead. I feel like these winds just keep hitting me and pushing me over and over again and again. I pray to God everyday that he watches over him and will guide him in the right direction.

  15. Karen says:

    Thank you for today’s reading.
    After a full past week of Sadness, Bitterness and Unkindness.
    This story has brought much Greatfulness to me. I was that palm tree that someone wished so much for me to break. Through the bad storm I faced with ex-family members. I knew in my heart the strength I had to fight and stay strong for my daughter.
    God is Great!! My Love for God has given Me Strength to Stand Tall and My daughter the date on the palm tree. Will Stay Forever Sweet.
    In Jesus Name, AMEN 💖

  16. Avian says:

    I’m happy that through Christ I don’t have to break regardless of the many 180 degree bending situations in my life.

  17. Tiffany says:

    Hi, Stephanie. I’m so sorry for your loss. (I lost my mom suddenly when I was 21. I’m 31 now.) Please let me lift you up in prayer…

    Lord Jesus,

    You know sorrow and grief. It hurts, it’s heartbreaking, and it can feel like cloudiness and a weight combined. I’m asking You to see Stephanie and *show* her that You see her. Show her that You care for her.

    Please sharpen her awareness of Your presence and comfort her so strongly, gently, and freshly each day as she moves forward — with you alongside her as well as many others who love her.

    When her distress feels too great, bring her relief, ease, and perspective.

    Where there’s been loss, God, I’m asking that you’d give her gain. Somehow, some “God” way. In fact, *overflow* her cup which probably feels so empty right now.

    On the days where she feels lost in life without her mom, be the lamp to her feet and the light to her path. (Ps. 119:105)

    In due time, bring brightness to her eyes again and gladness to her heart.

    All the hardship, Lord, work it for her good and the good of others. (Gen. 50:20-22)

    Comfort her as she mourns, Lord, and provide for her. Bestow upon her a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. By faith in Jesus, I call you, Stephanie, an oak of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3).

    I pray this all in your compassionate and gracious Name, Jesus.

    Stephanie, there’s a song called “Weep with Me” by Rend Collective. The words are pretty powerful.

  18. Jasmine says:

    I got myself in some legal trouble… The weight and the shame of it all has been a burden. How did I get here is all I keep asking myself. I currently don’t have my own transportation so I’m having to depend on others to get me around, and I often feel like an inconvenience. I know that this too shall pass and I now that even in this God is working everything out for my good; but it’s still a struggle at times. I don’t want to break in this season of life… I want to flourish like a palm tree and live tall with resilience and strength. I want God’s love to be so deeply rooted in my heart that I thrive no matter what challenge I face. (That was my biggest takeaway from this devotional). But I really really do! I know God is up to something and He is somehow using this situation to bring glory to Him. I just don’t want to fail Him….

  19. Megan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I am dealing with unease in my marriage, bad thoughts, and dealing with depression. I feel very much like the palm that is being bent down and close to breaking. Please pray for me, that God won’t let me break.

  20. Sandy says:

    I am indeed in need of absolute support and prayers. I am a strong woman and believer of our Father in heaven but I am struggling with a possible diagnosis of cancer. The final test is next week. In my heart I already know. I getting better with my walk due to your work. Please pray for me to be strong in Jesus name. 🙏

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