The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Imagine yourself for a moment walking through a forest of aromatic, expansive, and beautiful trees. Each tree reaches to the heavens yet spreads its branches wide as well. And as you close your eyes and breathe in, the smell of balsam fills your senses and soothes your soul. With each step you take through this forest, your body and soul and spirit are refreshed, renewed, and reenergized. The cares of the world pass away; you are at peace.
Now imagine instead of walking through a forest of trees, you are traveling through life. Each tree is a person–a follower of Christ flourishing as a cedar of Lebanon. Each word, each thought, and each action not only reaches into the heavens, spreading out like a blanket, but also releases a fragrant aroma–the aroma of Christ.
Imagine a world covered in a forest of God’s cedars. Imagine a world abounding with the aroma of Christ.
For this is not a dream; it is truth. And it is possible.
How do I know this? God’s Word. God Himself says in His Word that the righteous will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
The righteous will grow. The righteous will flourish. The righteous will spread out their branches from generation to generation.
Like the cedars of Lebanon.
The cedars of Lebanon are aromatic, durable, highly desirable, noble, thick, tall, pleasant, fragrant, delightful to walk by, not subject to decay, not to be eaten by worms, beautiful, solid, and free from knots. And the branches spread out horizontally. In the Old Testament, because of their durability, cedars were used to build. Solomon even built the temple using cedar wood. (Find the source of this info here and here)
Could you imagine what would happen if each follower of Christ was durable, desirable, noble, strong, pleasant, delightful to be with, not given to sin or decay, beautiful, and free from inner turmoil?! Could you imagine if every follower of Christ not only reached up to the heavens but spread their branches out across the earth as well?!
The world would never be the same. Never. Be. The. Same.
So I ask you today. Are you flourishing? Are you exuding the fragrance of Christ? Are you pleasant to be around? Are you reaching up and reaching out? Are you growing like a cedar?
If so, keep reaching. Keep planting yourself in God’s Word. Keep those roots reaching toward the river of life. Keep those arms outstretched in love for God and for people. Keep on keeping on knowing God is using you not only to draw others into His presence but also to build His eternal kingdom. As God’s cedar, “you are God’s field; God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
If not. If you feel your branches are weakening, your leaves wilting, and your roots yearning for water. Do not fear. Reestablish yourself in Him and in His righteousness. Dig your roots deep into His Word. Water yourself in prayer, in Bible study and in fellowship. Stretch out your arms to heaven in worship, and reach out to the world in love.
And as you do–as you surrender yourself to Him and to His righteousness–you will find yourself once again flourishing–once again growing and thriving like a cedar in Lebanon.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand,
and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way,
let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.