Help for When It's Hard to Move Forward

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever” (Psalm 52:8 ESV).


So I wrote a book. Now what?

The day of the book’s release I bustled around full of excitement. I knew God called me to do the work, and He faithfully gave me the words to say – even when I had no clue which direction we would go together. I stayed in constant conversation with God this particular day, thanking Him over and over. Asking Him to put the book in the hands of those who would be challenged by its message.

Day two came and went. Then days three, four, and five.

I tried to formulate words about the book that I could share with others. I wanted to tell people about it. Some sweet friends willingly offered to allow me to guest post on their blogs and websites. What a blessing! Their generosity would give me an avenue for sharing my heart and why the message was so important.

But the words just wouldn’t come.

Trying to get the ideas flowing again, I practiced writing on different topics. But everything seemed forced. The sentences didn’t sound like me at all.

I strained and struggled through writing a few guest posts, but others I had to cancel. I hated to do it, but I felt like a plant going through its dormant season. No green leaves, no blooms, no fruit.

 “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever” (Psalm 52:8 ESV).

In this passage, David praised God and claimed his heritage as someone who takes refuge in the Lord and trusts in Him, no matter what. In spite of every hardship David endured under the hand of Saul, he chose to refer to himself as an olive tree. This seems like a strange description, until we look at a few facts about this tenacious plant.

1.      The olive tree is long-lasting. The oldest olive trees in history lived to be between 3000 and 4000 years old. The oldest living one today is over 2000 years old. Even more remarkable, at this age they still bear a crop of fruit every year. These trees are the symbol of longevity and fruitfulness.

2.      The olive tree is valuable. Every part of the tree is useful and desired. The fruit is used for food, the oil for cooking and light. The leaves are used for medicinal purposes, and even the wood is valued by wood-workers.

3.      The olive tree is determined. When the olive tree is chopped close to the ground, it easily sprouts back.

David knew exactly what to pray for. Through the trials of his life, David relied on God to be his source, so he could continue moving forward in the Lord’s will. God’s mercy is constant and unchanging. When we count on his strength to endure, we will bloom when the time is right.

So when I feel like that dormant plant, I must remember to trust God for the fruit. It doesn’t come from me, it comes from Him.

Sometimes we enjoy a fruitful season, moving along with ease and feeling God directing us every step of the way. Other times, we wait. David knew this, which is evident in the very next verse…

“I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly” (Psalm 52:9).

So I wait today. No with panic or frustration, and not with questions of “why.” But I wait because God is good, and I am an olive tree – just ready to bear fruit again in His perfect time.