One of the first things I saw when I went to Israel was the Mount of Olives. (This picture is not it, only an olive tree.) Immediately as I looked upon those gnarled ancient trees I saw the sufferings of Christ. I could barely constrain my wails. I held my breath trying to muffle the loud cries threatening to erupt out of my throat. That pain came from my toes up through my spirit.
The olive tree is not the most beautiful. It reflects the harsh environment of which it grows. Its leaves are small and the older it is, the more gnarled its trunk. Yet there is a beauty in the tree. Oh to be an olive tree….
To be the trees where Jesus chose to
Spend many hours of agony.
To be the ones who heard His petitions
To the Father.
Just gnarled, quiet faithfulness.
With patience to wait
Shelter to give
Secrets to hold
For the Savior.
I like my life so please don’t read too much into this statement: There have been times in my life when I wanted to be somewhere or someone else. I wanted to be prettier. Smarter. Holier. Live in a place with a different climate. But there are lessons to be learned from the olive tree. Despite the harsh climate, they produce fruit. Despite the gnarled trunk, beauty is to be found in their design. A design that tells a story of Jesus.
It may seem a strange prayer today, but here it goes. “Lord, make me (make us) like the olive trees on the mount. We want to be near you. We want our lives to tell your story in such a way that those who look upon us immediately feel your presence and understand what you did for us on the cross. Make our lives fruitful even in the dry seasons. And when the rains of refreshing come, grow our roots deep into your heart never to thirst again. Thank you Jesus. Amen.”
This is the scripture I read this week that springboarded these thoughts. Happy Friday!
But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God.
I trust in God’s unfailing love
forever and ever.
I will praise you forever for what
You have done;
in your name I will hope, for
Your name is good.
I will praise you in the presence
of the saints (Psalm 52:8,9).