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

the OLIVE Tree of Vouves on Crete is believed to be the world’s oldest living olive tree, aged between 3,500 and 5,000 years. It was flourishing when David fled from Saul and the priests of Nob were killed.

Olive trees are gnarled wonders of creation. They not only provide food and fuel, but they also are almost indestructible. Cut down a mature tree down or burn it to the ground and the roots can regenerate the tree.

While hiding from Saul, David learned that all of Nob’s priests and their families had been slaughtered when a wicked man lied to Saul about a priest who had innocently assisted David.

Instead of yielding to despair or desires for revenge, David trusted God to bring justice. Like an olive tree, David could endure great devastation and rebound. This future king had strong roots of hope that revitalized him even as God painfully molded and matured him through many dreadful acts of men. A deep faith in God’s love sustained David, and he delighted to praise God’s goodness.

How do we respond when God allows evil in order to shape our lives for His plans and purposes? Do we trust His ways or are we crushed by events? By rooting our faith in God’s unchanging love, we can learn to respond as David did—praising God’s goodness while still in the midst of distress.

Do a study on the names of God that reflect His love and justice.

Carol Chase and her husband spent many years circumnavigating the world by sailboat. She is retired and currently coordinates an e-mail prayer group from home.