The dictionary defines the word flourish this way: “To grow well; to be healthy; to be very successful; to do very well; to hold up.”
Would this define the life you are currently living? Here is David’s description of his own life:
I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
The significance of the olive tree in biblical times cannot be overstated. From eating to cooking to lighting to medicinal uses, the oil from olives was an important part of life. The key to an olive tree’s vitality is its vast root system, which enables the olive tree to grow in an arid, rocky environment.
David said his life experience was like the flourishing olive tree because of his root system. David was rooted in the unfailing love of His God; this is the key to faithful flourishing!
Now, please don’t misunderstand the word faithful. It does not mean living a perfect life before the face of God. David certainly did not live a perfect life, yet God described David as a man after His own heart. What that really means is that David’s heart beat for God, even though it beat for God imperfectly. David’s life beautifully illustrates this truth:
Flourishing is always mixed with a bit of Floundering!
The faithful followers of God understand that life will never be about perfection on this side of the grave. It is all about direction . . . the direction we are heading in. We will, from time to time, careen from wall to wall along the way to our intended destination; it may be that we will reverse our steps or sit stagnant for a period of time. But we will continue to travel in the direction God is calling us to go.
How is it with you? What direction is your life headed in these days? Toward God . . . or away from Him?
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David could say that he was flourishing like an olive tree in the house of God because he lived his life in the presence of God. He was continually conscious of God’s unfailing love; David trusted in God’s love even when he could not trace it. During those dark days when David was on the run from King Saul, he was presented with many opportunities to take Saul’s life, but David trusted in God’s perfect plan for his imperfect life. He trusted in the sovereign, unfailing love of his God even when those around him were telling him to trust in himself and take matters into his own hands.
So . . . what have you been trusting in lately? When God’s unfailing love rules your heart, it shapes your life and brings you a sense of flourishing that can be found in no other way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!