But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8
David understood he hadn’t achieved spiritual maturity, but rather he was engaged in a process of growing like an olive tree, and more than growing he was flourishing as he trusted God.
Olive trees are very resilient. They can survive and produce fruit even in harsh conditions such as hot, cold, dry, wet, rocky or sandy environments. It’s believed that you can’t kill an olive tree since they live for thousands of years. When olive trees are cut down and even burned, new shoots will emerge from the roots. Therefore olive trees are the perfect picture of faithfulness and persistence.
When David was looking for a simile for his relationship with the Lord he chose the olive tree. It pictured the necessity of being faithful to God and his purposes as well as persistence even in difficult circumstances. David had his fair share of difficult circumstances. This psalm was written when David was fleeing from Saul who was trying to kill him.
David found that even in difficulties, he could still, not only grow but flourish in this relationship with God. Wherever he was he could trust in God’s unfailing love. This enabled David to feel safe despite being pursued by enemies with murderous intent.
Are we growing like olive trees? Or are we waiting for more favourable conditions? Perhaps when we have more time to read the Bible and pray. Perhaps when we’re less stressed and have ourselves better organized.
However, the opportunity to tap into God’s unfailing love is always available. We can focus on God’s love and we can grow. And not just grow, but flourish.