I couldn’t help but think of so many practice spiritual and life lessons today that I learned while picking cucumbers! Yes, I just said picking cucumbers.
First thing I noticed was that in the places with the most vines covering the ground, were the highest number of hiding cucumbers. In fact, the most giant, plump cucumbers were usually there. Seriously. They were beautiful.
I said to myself as I was picking, “That’ll preach!”
I’ve often felt overlooked at times in my life. To be really honest, it’s currently a feeling that I have been overcoming myself. However, I know that my Father God has been hiding me in a place where I can develop and grow to my full maturity, AND THEN be “picked”. I might feel insignificant and invisible, even to God at times, but I am not.
My Father God has a purpose and plan in every season. I believe in this season He wants me to stay in the “shade” a little longer, hidden from the “pickers”! In the shadows, I have had to be willing to allow Him to change me and “ripen” me to be ready to be used by Him whenever and wherever He sees fit.
If you feel like you are in the shadows today, don’t despair.
In the shadows I pray for you as Paul did in Colossians 1:9 – 12 that …
You are being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
You are walking in the manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects.
You are being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience, joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
You know where we really should be hiding? We should be hiding in the secret place with Him.
Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
This puts a whole new perspective on being in the shadows. Who cares how long you have to hide, when you are abiding in the secret place with Him?! This will make you stop complaining, and start being grateful for the time to hide with Him. It has certainly done that for me. I have had to make a choice to abide in the secret place with Him where all peace and hope is found.
Romans 5: 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character,hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been pouredout within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
So essentially this means…….
Tribulation = perseverance = proven character = HOPE.
When you get the point of “proven character”, basically, what this is saying is that – it will be hard for you to be disappointed EVER. That’s really a character trait that we all want, isn’t it?!
I’m not talking about being numb and not wanting anything any more. I’m talking about knowing that every dream will come true in God’s time, beyond a shadow of a doubt! I’m talking about dreaming big while being in the shadows, yet being totally satisfied in your intimacy with Him.
So, you may not be receiving that promotion that you want right now. If you have the right attitude and submit to the process, you will get so strong in character that it will be hard for anything to sway you or disappoint you. When you do finally come out of hiding you will KNOW YOUR GOD in a way that you didn’t before. That is, if you truly make the choice to pursue more intimacy with Him!!
Do you sense I’m about to get up and start dancing?!?!
You will discover WHOSE YOU ARE, AND WHO YOU ARE!
You might have to serve in positions that are not your favorite. You may have to do things that your flesh doesn’t necessarily love doing. All the while you will be going deeper and deeper in God.
Totally on the flip side of things, there was another thing I noticed when picking cucumbers today. Many of the kids started munching on the smaller cucumbers. I munched on one myself, and thought they were delightful, too. The small ones were tasty, too! For some reason, I thought maybe they wouldn’t be, but the indeed were tasty.
You may feel like a little cucumber, totally not ready at all to be picked, but God may want you to get “picked” right now! Can He use you? Yes?!
(“You’re comparing me to a little cucumber,” you say. “What is a Veggie Tale story in the making?!?!”)
God may want to use you right now as unqualified as you may feel. Yep, it’s true.
God may also want you to wait and let you develop and hide you and ripen you for the appointed time when He will cause you to be noticed and brought in the light! And boy oh boy when you finally get picked, you are not at all the same person that you were before. If you had been picked way before that, it might have been a big disaster, because as the saying goes….your talent will take your where your character won’t keep you. Now you will have “staying power”, as I call it. Yow will remain (hopefully) in that newly appointed position in the light because your character will be fully developed.
And furthermore I couldn’t help but notice something else…
A lot of the kids picking the cucumbers today were not willing to really, really look hard at the ground, but just kind of grabbed the ones that were easily visible.
I see this like…we may be overlooked by people who are just looking for talent and noticeable gifts, but those who are looking for quality and depth, will look harder, and look more at character. God can cause you to be highlighted and all of a sudden seen and chosen.
Isn’t it true that a larger more developed cucumber will most likely have many, many more seeds that can come from it than a smaller cucumber! In a fully developed cucumber, is the potential to produce more of its kind. A LOT MORE OF ITS KIND. A smaller cucumber, can’t always produce a lot more of its kind! But a bigger one can!!
What did God say in the very beginning when He created man?
Do you think this was just about fruit in the natural?? God was also talking about our lives as “fruit”, to be “picked” by the world.
There are lot of reasons to rejoice that you are in the shadows right now, even though part of you just REALLY, REALLY wants you to be seen. In fact, God desires that you get over the desire in your soul to be seen and noticed by people. He wants you to get over the desire for the praise of man. He wants you to be able to step into the light just to glorify Him.
Learn a lesson from the cucumber – whether you are “small” or “big”, He is faithful in every season of your life and you are created to be a blessing to others, period.