My late husband and I developed a love for Japanese cucumbers while we served as missionaries in Japan several years ago.

As I shopped in the States, I was surprised to find a Japanese cucumber plant. I bought it and gave it a new home, a large flowerpot on my patio.

Because I didn’t water it consistently, I had to revive it a couple of times. I prayed the Lord would bless me with at least one cucumber, despite my inconsistency. He did, and taught me some valuable lessons at the same time.

1. I needed to water it daily to get a good harvest. Spiritually, reading the Bible and praying is the best way to start my day.

2. Cucumbers prospered when their overhanging leaves provided shade. The Lord said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

3. They need their tendrils for stability because my cucumber grew heavier and climbed over the side of its container. As a widow, I’ve been grateful to have other Christians help me remain steadfast when I feel burdened and weary.

4. The sun makes the plant continue to grow, blossom, and produce cucumbers. The sunshine of God’s Word encourages me as a widow not to feel so alone and overwhelmed.

Since my life’s schedule and purpose changed, I need to strive to become a mature Christian, available to help other women, widowed or not.