The righteous will flourish like a palm tree. (Ps. 92:12)

I tend to flourish in the remote wilderness with wooded mountains where it would take helicopters and bloodhounds to rescue me. So I never thought I would like a cruise. But my wife insisted, and I was surprised to so enjoy bustling island life in lieu of wilderness, emerald-colored seas instead of mountains, and palm trees in place of pines.

One photo I took captures it for me. Not bothering to get up, I took it from a reclined position in a hammock, with a book in my lap and sandals on my feet, with a beautiful palm tree stretched out into the unbroken blue sky. I think of that picture when I read Psalm 92:12: “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree.” I don’t know how righteous I’ve been, but I felt like I was flourishing just fine on that island looking up at that palm tree that day!

We look around us and presume that evil is flourishing instead of God. It seems that “senseless” people (v. 6) are succeeding. That the “wicked” (v. 7) and the “evildoers” and “enemies” (v. 9) all around us are prospering when they shouldn’t. God reminds us that such trends are temporary. We need not fret over the success or failure of those who aren’t doing things God’s way. We can be confident that we are “planted in the house of the Lord” and we will “flourish in the courts of our God” (v. 13).

Love even enemies and evildoers without bitterness.

David Drury is the author of Being Dad and coauthor of SoulShift and Ageless Faith (all Wesleyan Publishing House). He is also the chief of staff of The Wesleyan Church.