I’m watching with interest as my cucumber plant is flourishing, winding up the metal fencing and sending out little shoots to hold it up. I’m amazed at the engineering and forethought of this design—some plants need a full support “cage” (like tomatoes), but this little guy has its own tentacles that reach out, find, and attach the vine to the fence, literally pulling whole plant up into the sunlight. These also serve to anchor and support the plant when the heavy cucumbers mature.
Why can’t I be that smart?
God has created us to be in family, in community, and notwithstanding our differing personality requirements for sanity, (i.e., introvert versus extrovert and all that), it seems that God has wired us to need each other.
From the very beginning…
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’”
…to the L-O-N-G list of “one anothers” in the first century church, (just Google it, too many to list here). Why is this so important to God?
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”
On our own, we Just. Wear. Out. Even when we don’t think we are. Weariness can be like a slow infusion that you don’t know is taking place until it seriously impairs your judgment and abilities. Like the cucumber sending out its anchoring limbs, we are also responsible to search out help to anchor us, preferably before we need it—the early church called it “koinonia”, a concept sorely needed today. It is in community that I become anchored in my faith, held accountable for my personal walk with Jesus, and corrected when I goof. Confrontation is never fun, but is an act of love nonetheless. I need to swallow my selfish pride and actively reach out to others for that support and guidance.
“Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.”
Cukes get heavy! Similarly, if we actually produce the spiritual fruit He intends for us, we’re likely going to need some support to handle it all!
“Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Most importantly, the vine must conform itself to the metal support, not the other way around. In other words, when we choose to anchor ourselves to God, we must come to Him on His terms, not ours. We learn to think His thoughts, hear His voice, learn His ways, even when it’s not popular, fun, or comfortable. It’s the only way to stay anchored.
Ah, to be as wise as the cucumber….
Genesis 2:18; Ecclesiastes 4:9; John 15:5; Hebrews 11:6 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.