But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. (Ps. 52:8)

You either love them or hate them. A staple on the table of the ancients, olives are still found in the markets and on the plates of much of the world. The oil from olives has long been treasured for cooking, health, and ceremonial purposes. The leaves of the olive tree have been used for crowns in the Roman and Greek Olympic games.

Olives grow best in poor soil and can thrive even in drought conditions. They prefer sunny, unshaded places and produce best when they are regularly pruned. They also grow very slowly and can bear fruit for centuries.

David wrote this psalm while he was running from King Saul and after a particular encounter with Ahimelek. He used the beginning of the passage to ask rhetorical questions of his foes and to predict what they were saying about him. But he finished with this triumphant proclamation: “I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God!” In challenging conditions, under the glare of sun, pruned by the trials God allowed, he was slowly growing into the man God ordained him to be.

David said that he trusts in God’s unfailing love and hopes in God’s name for “your name is good.” If we keep these truths ever before us, we too will flourish like an olive tree.

To flourish like an olive tree, stay in God’s grove.

Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor’s wife and mom who lives in Indiana and likes to recharge with coffee and time with friends.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.