The Wondrous Signs of the Palm Tree



Hello FINE Ladies!

I love being in Florida and the “land where palm trees sway”. Remember that Christmas song? Anyway, I am lucky to have a palm tree in my front yard. It is so incredibly tall and majestic. It needed a little TLC when we moved in but now, she is looking good! This tree in my front yard reminded me of the tree in my front yard in New York. Remember the “ugly tree?” The Red Maple I judged and was convicted about? Check out that blog here from June 2019. As I re-read that blog it prompted me to do a little research on the palm tree.

First off, Palm Sunday and Easter are right around the corner! What does Palm Sunday even mean? Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. You can read the Triumphal Entry in John 12:12-19. Verse 13 states that the great multitude “took branches of a palm tree and went out to meet Him and cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” The King of Israel!” The palm branch symbolizes royalty, victory, triumph, and peace.

In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John wrote in chapter 7:9-10, another great multitude had palm branches in their hands!

“After these things I looked and behold a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!”

I’m starting to love the palm tree even more!

Since I’ve previously lived in Florida, I have endured many hurricanes. Trees get uprooted and limbs are snapped in half, but not the palm tree! Why is that? Plant ecologist Dan Metcalfe explains three significant reasons why!

  1. The roots: The palm tree has many short roots spread across the upper level of the soil, which work to secure a large amount of soil around the root ball. This is opposed to other trees that have a few very strong roots; this wider network creates a bottom-heavy base that helps keep the tree in place.

  2. The trunk: The trunk is composed of lots of small bundles of woody material, more like the bunches of wires inside a telephone whereas a pine or oak tree has a series of hollow cylinders inside each other creating their annual rings. Metcalfe explains: “The cylinder approach provides great strength to support the weight (compressive strength) which means that an oak tree's trunk can support a huge weight of branches, but limited flexibility compared to the bundle approach, which allows the palm stem to bend over through 40 or 50 degrees without snapping.”

  3. The branches: These huge leaves have a central, flexible mid-rib. When wind and rain pound on the leaves they fold up like a feather duster, allowing them to survive intact.

Some fun facts about the palm tree:

  • the branches/leaves are also called “fronds”

  • depending on the variety, palms can produce coconuts and dates

  • if a palm is not trimmed frequently, it can catch fire very quickly

  • the lifespan of a palm is 70-100 years.

Cool stuff!

When people come to visit Florida from another state they marvel at the beauty of this tree. The tree almost seems rare, a wonder! I don’t want to take the palm tree for granted. I even want to relate to the palm tree. There are so much beauty and symbolism for us as believers:

The story of my roots may be exposed and at surface level, but I know I will not be uprooted because my foundation, way underneath is strong and secure. My trunk, my core, is perfectly designed for me to be flexible. I am like the inside of a telephone cable and sometimes a hot mess of wires squeezed inside, but God is constantly working on that inside, all the while holding me together tight so I can flex for every moment.

The branches… check out Zechariah 3:8! The title of this chapter in my study bible says The Coming Branch. JESUS is the coming Branch. (Royalty, Victor, Triumpher, the Prince of Peace) Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You, and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.

Did you catch that? A wondrous sign…just like those tourists coming to Florida who are in awe of the palm trees and because Jesus is my Savior, I am a mini branch! An offshoot of Him. A wondrous sign! Psalm 71:7 states...I have become as a wonder to many!

While I am on this earth, I want to lay down my life as a palm branch, allowing Jesus full entry into all the corners of my life. His triumphal entry! He deserves it! Because of Jesus, I am a symbol of victory, triumph, and peace. I am royalty! He has sustained me in the storms, He has allowed the roots of my story to glorify Him. People will stop and stare at the rarity of what a Christian woman looks like in hard, chaotic times. And one day when I see Him face to face, He will hand me a palm branch and I will gladly cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!”

Psalm 92:12a says ‘The godly shall flourish like a palm tree.”

Oh, Sister! I bet you will never look at a Palm Tree the same way again. I certainly don’t!

Love you!

Sharon


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