September 11, 2012

How fast does a Red fern grow?

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:25 pm by Broken & Brave

How fast does a red fern grow?  These are the words I would hear in the quiet of the night. The first time I heard this question was February 14, 2001…Valentine’s day. Then, I didn’t hear anything of it for another six months. How fast does a red fern grow? I would hear it again while performing the mindless little tasks of the day. How fast does a red fern grow? I thought to myself, “Lord, you have asked me this before” as I recalled to myself, but enough time had lapsed that I had forgotten all about the puzzling question. Then, I heard this question over and over at random points of time over an approximate 18 month period. I would hear the question run through my mind, but then nothing, no additional comments came with it. The whole thing got me curious and more than just a little perplexed. I never bothered doing any research on the plant. I would only reply in prayer, “I don’t know, how fast?” I will be honest, I would also wonder why this was important and what it had to do with me. However, I am sharp enough to know that if the Lord was whispering it, it was for a purpose and it had complete relevance in my life. Then it came…the question once again, asked in the same manner it had been asked every time before, “Nicole, how fast does a red fern grow?”  Only this time I heard more. You better believe, when the Lord whispers something perplexing into the stillness of your heart and then permits it to linger there for a time, you pay attention when it arises again. I quickly got my journal and pen…

How fast does a red fern grow…as fast as I tell it to.”  You’re probably thinking, “that’s it?” I know I was. Then, came more…

A red fern is a unique, flowering plant that only grows in the deepest, darkest portion of the forest. Even though it receives minimal sunlight, it manages to get ample ultraviolet rays and nutrients. This plant is unique in nature and rarely found by man. This plant is special. All of these words flooded my heart and flowed through my pen. I was bewildered, inspired, aroused and amused all at the same time. I knew nothing of this red fern, so how was it that I “just knew” all of these facts? Were they actual facts at all?

At this point, I was definitely curious enough to do a little research. What I found was that everything I had written in my journal was absolutely true! John and I even found a photo of the red fern that was taken at Volcano House National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii in May of 1999. This is significant because the red fern was thought to not actually exist. John and I found a forum of botanists who discussed the fern and learned that there were purple ferns and autumn ferns, but no red fern, or so many thought. The fact is, the red fern is so rare and the color shows bright but only under the perfect conditions, so the chances of capturing it by the human eye (or camera) are small. This entire process, of hearing the Lord, receiving the insight and then finding the research was from 2/14/01-4/10/02. It was a season of my life where I was growing in my relationship with God by leaps and bounds through trial and dark things and much pain. But my God gives beauty for ashes and this was some amazing fruit showing itself in the form of spiritual gift of Knowledge. I was more than happy for all I had endured to receive such a unique and specific gift. However, I do not write of the red fern to tell you of my journey to hearing God’s voice, though I believe it is important for you to know because I am asking you to trust me to encourage you. You are reading this and therefore you are giving me your time and attention and that is valuable. So, it is important you understand my credibility to hear the Lord, not just my credibility to love and encourage your heart as I know you can see is true. I want to impart Pure Exhortation to you. Pure exhortation that first and foremost comes from the inspired word of God and secondly comes from the Wonderful Counselor he has placed inside me. Did you know you are like this fern that turns red? You are! Allow me to show you how.

This plant is rare, unique, special…just as you are. The Lord knit you together in your mothers womb (Psalm 119). It was not by accident or happenstance that you should exist on this planet. You were designed with purpose on purpose. Every experience of life, both the good and the bad, are allowed and are used to shape you and develop you to grow, to shine, to add color to this world. You are special. God made you and if you are in darkness, he will find you. He already has found you. He found you in all of your darkness and wants to rescue you from this pit. Your darkness may be any number of things, you know what it is and you are probably thinking of it right now. He wants to rescue you, like a Knight in Shining armor (men need that too you know!). Despite a lack of light, he wants to nourish you, even in the dark place, heal you, love you and he wants to watch you grow. All gardeners love to see their botanical gardens flourish and grow! Fix your eyes on him, Beloved, fix your eyes on him. Allow the Maker of Heaven and Earth be like ultraviolet rays upon your wilted leaves and petals bringing out your luster and unique color. He will be like a heavy moisture, just like the damp soil of the tropical rain forest. As the moisture increases, so does the shine of your leaves…your heart…your thoughts. Your countenance becomes radiant. The leaves of the red fern will lean toward the soil around it that contains the most moisture. Lean into Him today, he wants to soften that thing that has made you hard. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, leaning not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your path straight” (Prov. 3:5-6). He wants to bandage that ache and pain that has plagued you all of these years. He wants to erase and change the perspective of that hurt that stung so deep as a child. He wants to raise you up and showcase you just like the Red fern. He sees the past, the present and the future. He has created all things and knows all things. Let him create a new heart in you. He is full of Hope for you. He wants His Hope to shine in you and through you…for there are still countless others out there who have no Hope at all. I BELIEVE IN YOU! Shine true, Shine bright, SHINE ON in everything you say and do! His thoughts are upon you and so are mine.

Blessings, Nicole

“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: