The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, Psalms 92:12-14

I’m often intrigued by how the trees, especially the fruit type, are able to go through the various seasons of the year still standing strong and bearing fruit. They appear dead in the winter months and then jolt back to life when spring comes.

There’s an apple tree at the back of our building that has been there for some years now. Like every tree, it is outside there under the elements. Yet, it has never failed to bring forth fruit each summer.

If you see it in the winter months you would almost want to cut it down to warm up the frigid temperature. It has no beauty and nothing to justify the space it occupies. But then comes spring and it begins to manifest life again.

How do you become like that? Such that it doesn’t matter what comes your way in life, you’re still standing and bearing fruit.

The Scripture above gives some hints but I just want to highlight one aspect of it: “Those who are planted …”  To be planted is to be established, to be stable, to be consistent. It is to be steady. You don’t see the apple tree keep changing location; here today and gone tomorrow.

Some people are too mobile; constantly on the move. They cannot sustain anything, be it relationship, job or even accommodation. The apple tree doesn’t say, “Oh, this winter is so bad, I’m going to move.” No, it doesn’t do that. It only makes some adjustment to go through that crazy season. For example, it sheds its leaves and cease fruit production.

I’m not advocating rigidity but rather flexibility. Don’t make important decision during seasonal changes; just make some adjustment for that season to pass. Important decisions should be made when you’re not under any pressure.  

The late Robert H. Schuller, former pastor of Crystal Cathedral in Orange Country, California, wrote a book many years ago with the title: Tough times never last, but tough people do!

Oh, I love that. This difficult time will soon pass. It came, to pass.