The Resurrection Fern
Report and photograph by D.W. Cloud
The resurrection fern is an air plant that is common in the southeastern part of the United States, but grows as far north as New York and as far west as Texas. Typically it attaches itself to the branches of large trees such as live oaks and draws nutrients from the air and from the tree’s bark. It gets its name from the fact that God has designed it to survive long periods of drought by appearing nearly dead and then springing to life when a rain comes.
In the absence of water, its attractive, bright green leaves wither up and turn brownish. On a trip to the Myrkaa State Park in Florida in December 2012, the resurrection fern was in its “dead mode.” I took a photo of it in that state on a particular tree branch, then I poured several bottles of water on it. When I returned the next morning, it had resurrected! This fascinating, and exceedingly complicated plant (imagine what is happening at the cellular level to allow this plant to live, survive, and reproduce), is a reminder that Jesus, the Son of God, rose from the dead the third day after His sacrifice whereby He was punished in the sinner’s place to purchase eternal salvation for those who receive Him as Lord and Saviour. God’s world is filled to the brim with testimonies of His power and wisdom for those who have eyes to see.
When I travel to beautiful places in various parts of the world, which I have the great privilege to do frequently, I can enjoy everything the unbeliever enjoys (apart from sin), such as the scenery and the facilities, but I have so much more enjoyment on so many different levels because of God’s enlightenment. I can see and marvel at His handiwork and praise Him for His character, because I know Him personally. I see clearly what is happening today, and I also see the future through God’s Word. I understand that this present world is nothing compared to that which is to come. I can meditate upon that world and my place in it!