In Psalm 37:35, David marvels at the wicked “spreading himself like a green bay tree” (KJV). Young’s Literal Translation puts it: “as a green native plant.”
We have a schefflera plant, or umbrella tree, in our living room. Because it is not native to where we live, it makes a nice houseplant, growing to 10 feet tall at most. But in a tropical climate such as Florida or Australia, it can grow to 40 feet.
Why should we wonder, then, when we Christians struggle? We are not native plants. The earth is not our home, and we can expect to have rough times. Our Lord promised us that. But we also have this promise: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12, NIV).