Life is not a desert or a swamp — God gives sun and rain

Published 5:09 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

Israel was commissioned by God to celebrate seven major feasts. They were divided into two groups, four observed in the spring and three in the fall. The last feast was called the “Feast of the Tabernacle,” also called “The Feast of Booths,” “The Feast of Ingathering” but called in the New Testament “The Feast.”

This feast occurred sometime at the end of October or the first of November.  These seven days were celebrated with many things including two tree branches, one palm the other a willow.

This final part of the feast celebrated the coming Messiah who would reign as king over Israel but also over the gentiles worldwide.

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Herbert Lockyer in his excellent book, “The Week that Changed the World” shared some insights into the life of Christ. On Palm Sunday, the Jews celebrated part of this feast when Jesus rode into Jerusalem by waving palm leaves and acknowledging him as King, however, no mention was made of the willow branches on this day.

Palm trees grow in the sun whereas the weeping willow grows by the water.  Both trees illustrate the extremes of life. God never gives us all sunny days nor all rainy days but a mixture of both. 

There will be days of sunshine and rain, laughter and tears, triumphs and defeats, gains and losses and pleasure and pains.

Jesus, on Palm Sunday, received the palm branches as king when the crowd said “Hosanna,” and then received on Good Friday, the weeping willow branches as the suffering savior when they cried “Away with him.”

You and I, like our Lord, will walk through life with a palm branch in one hand and a weeping willow in the other.  The ups and downs of life provide us with development of spiritual strength, wisdom from experiences, and eternal rewards from this temporal life.

Please remember, if our life was all sunshine it would become a desert, if we had all rain, it would be a swamp. God gives us a mixture of sun and rain to produce beauty in our lives.

God knows what I need, how much I need and when I need it to make me all that I can be for him.

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is