A problem with ferns

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February 19, 2018

Dorsee Kemp writes in this morning’s Fruit of the Vine about a problem with ferns. When she and her husband, Phil, moved into their home, they were “delighted to see tiny green ferns peeping out of the ground.” Dorsee continues that she “had always wanted ferns, and we had visions of big, lacy, green fans surrounding the house all summer long.”

But they soon discovered these ferns were “extremely invasive, choking out nearly everything around them. In midsummer, they died down, leaving brown, withered clumps.” Dorsee and Phil “decided the ferns had to go.”

I don’t know about you, but Dorsee’s experience with ferns feels to me like a metaphor for what it is to be human. We set off down a particular path only to find ourselves somewhere other than where we thought we were headed. It is hard to admit we might have made a mistake, harder still to dig ourselves out and start over.

This particular variety of fern, according to Dorsee, “spreads by underground runners.... For months we played fern-alert, searching and digging several times a day. Eliminating them took nearly three years.”

This is how it is. Sometimes it seems easier to just live with the mess. But if we squarely face into the truth of our situation, sometimes what we uncover is beauty we might have missed if not for the mess.

That’s what happened to Dorsee and Phil: “Buried beneath the ferns, we discovered a climbing rose, azalea bushes, and several hostas. Without the stranglehold of the ferns, these plants were able to thrive again.”

I’m praying that God might do the same for each of us, helping us – especially in our time of need – to recognize that we’re stuck and to accept the help God offers. Underneath the strangleholds in our hearts and in our lives, we might just discover something beautiful, waiting for a chance to thrive again.

Thank you,
Eric Muhr


211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132


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