Psalm 52:8-9 - But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.
Today is one of those days. The pain is great. I can hardly move.
Some days it seems that all I can do is take care of my needs and beyond that just push through. Try to survive another day. The dishes may pile up. I may not leave my home only to walk my dog to the front yard.
But we weren’t meant to spend our life in survival mode. We were meant to flourish – to grow, to thrive, and to be active. But how can I flourish in my painful circumstances?
We take a look at olive trees for our example.
Olive trees have been growing since before early biblical times. They grew in the area of Mediterranean and more specifically in and around Jerusalem, such as the olive grove in the Garden of Gethsemane. Olive trees were also planted around the Jewish temple. They were hearty trees withstanding even the heaviest of droughts. And their leaves were always green. They still are.
Yet, even the writer of the Psalm above, David, who walked with God and was called “a man after God’s own heart”, lost sight of God’s unfailing love and hope. David was being pursued by his enemies and could only see his plight not God’s upcoming intervention. We can see though that by the eighth verse of Psalm 52, David turned his gaze back to God and believed he could be like “an olive tree flourishing in the house of God” regardless of his painful circumstances. How did he do that? He praised God for his faithfulness and in what he had already done for David.
When I do this, I take my eyes off myself and onto God and He always brings me not just through the day I’m in; but, through all of my days as well, and helps me find a way to be productive even if it’s small. Maybe it’s a phone call to a friend who is also suffering. Maybe it’s writing a card. Go outside and soak up some sun. But whatever it is, by doing something I take myself out of “survival mode” and become like that green, flourishing olive tree.
Do you have any ideas to share about how to pull yourself out of "survival mode"? To leave a comment just click on the blue "comments" below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.