The Signs of the Times


August 6, 1902

“The Righteous Shall Flourish Like the Palm Tree”


See the weary traveler toiling over the hot sand of the desert, with no shelter to protect him from the rays of the tropical sun. His water supply fails, and he has nothing with which to slake his burning thirst. His tongue becomes swollen; he staggers like a drunken man. Visions of home and friends pass before his mind as he believes himself ready to perish. Suddenly he sees in the distance, rising out of the dreary, sandy waste, a palm tree, green and flourishing. Hope quickens his pulses; he presses on, knowing that that which gives vigor and freshness to the palm tree will cool his fevered blood and give him renewed life. ST August 6, 1902, par. 1

As is the palm tree in the desert—a guide and a consolation to the fainting traveler—so the Christian is to be in the world. He is to guide weary souls, full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to the living water. He is to point his fellow-men to Him who gives to all the invitation, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” ST August 6, 1902, par. 2

The sky may be as brass, the burning sand may beat about the palm tree's roots, and pile itself about its trunk; yet the tree lives on, fresh and vigorous. Remove the sand, and you discover the secret of its life; its roots strike down deep into the waters hidden in the earth. ST August 6, 1902, par. 3

Thus it is with the Christian. His life is hid with Christ in God. Jesus is to him a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. His faith, like the rootlets of the palm-tree, penetrates beneath the things that are seen, drawing life from the fountain of life. And, amid all the corruption of the world, he is true and loyal to God. The sweet influence of Christ's righteousness surrounds him. His influence elevates and blesses. ST August 6, 1902, par. 4

The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realize that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessings that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know till the day of final reward. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work God's providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life, and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come. ST August 6, 1902, par. 5

As you go through life, you will meet with those whose lot is far from easy. Toil and deprivation, with no hope for better things in the future, make their burden very heavy. And when pain and sickness is added, the burden is almost greater than they can bear. Careworn and oppressed, they know not where to turn for relief. Put your whole heart into the work of helping them. It is not God's purpose that His children shall shut themselves up to themselves. Remember that for them as well as for you, Christ died. Hold out to them a helping hand. This will open the way for you to help them, to win their confidence, to inspire them with hope and courage. ST August 6, 1902, par. 6

All have trials, griefs hard to bear, temptations hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your fellow-mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer. Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the lives of others and to strengthen their efforts, by words of holy cheer. ST August 6, 1902, par. 7

There is many a brave soul sorely pressed with temptation, almost ready to faint in the conflict with self and with the powers of evil. Do not discourage such a one in his hard struggle. Cheer him with brave, hopeful words that will urge him on his way. “None of us liveth to himself.” By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened. ST August 6, 1902, par. 8

The service rendered in sincerity has great recompense. “Thy Father, which seeth in secret, Himself shall reward thee openly.” The faces of men and women who walk and work with God express the peace of heaven. They are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls the kingdom of God has begun. They have Christ's joy, the joy of being a blessing to humanity. They have the honor of being accepted for the Master's use; they are trusted to do His work in His name. ST August 6, 1902, par. 9

E. G. White.