My friend calls me over to where we are gardening, and she points out something extraordinary. Through last season’s ground leaves, new ferns grow.
I take a picture of this particular growth strategy. It’s amazing; this unfurling of the fern leaf–the scroll that slowly, slowly, unrolls–happens in order to protect the fronds. The structure itself is called a fiddlehead (I learned something new!).
Besides protecting the delicate leaves, the unrolling strategy (as opposed to shooting straight up or expanding from a bud), also gives the young frond the ability to successfully emerge from the soil and leaf covering.
I examine the strength of the leaf stalk (the petiole). It shelters the developing frond in a warm embrace, slowly unrolling the beautiful scroll.
I imagine God’s own growth strategy for what’s developing in us. It’s a slow and protected unrolling. When we think something should burst out, shoot far, or expand quickly, remember the strong hug that keeps the scroll rolled up so we survive the journey.