“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it… The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Genesis 2:15-18
Our father Adam was made to work and to care for God’s world. While it’s true that the curse meant that his work would be much harder, his work came with his creation, not with the curse. At the same time, the work that our Father God gave him to do was too much for him to handle alone. Notice that when God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, He said that He would make a “helper suitable for him”. He didn’t say that He would make a “companion” or “friend”, though I expect that the woman who was to come was certainly those. God’s emphasis was on the help Adam would need to do the work he was given.
This truth has tremendous implications for married couples, of course, for they are meant to serve God together and accomplish more together than they could separately. Yet, there is a powerful truth here for all people – whatever their marital status – who belong to the body of Christ.
On the one hand, we see here a picture of Christ and His Church. Paul makes it clear that Jesus’ relationship with His Church is properly a parallel to that of a man and his wife (see Ephesians 5:25-32). Christ has a mission to accomplish, but it’s not good for Him to go about it alone. He works in concert with the Father and the Spirit, yes, but even that wasn’t the ideal. No, He welcomes His people to join Him in His labor to bring about the new creation. He fills us with power, wisdom, and vision to partner with Him in all that He does. Isn’t that wonderful? Not for lack of competence or ability, He desires not to work alone, but to invite us along for the adventure, risk, suffering, and glory. May we embrace that invitation with all that’s in us!
On the other hand, we see in Adam’s experience a picture of our lives with one another in the church. It is not good for any of us to be alone. It is not God’s intention that any of us do His new creation work in isolation. It is for good reason that the apostle Paul described the church as a body with many parts who play different roles but work toward the same goal (see Romans 12:3-8 & 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). You are gifted by the Spirit, Disciple, but so are your brothers and sisters. Those gifts work together to create the whole body at its fullest capacity. No single disciple is enough to do the work that needs to get done. Team up with others and seek the common goal of Christ’s mission with them.
If you feel alone, Disciple, know that you’re not meant to be. The Master has designed you for a community and a community for you. Be willing to open yourself to partnership, and you will know the sweetness of true Christian fellowship as you are meant to.
Such fellowship means more than being in the same places during the same events. It requires deep communication, generous giving and accepting, and shared trust. These require relational knowledge of one another that is, sadly, so rare in our world. These things are hard won, but they can be ours if we agree that they are needed and best — if we acknowledge that they are God’s vision and intention so that we pursue them for His sake. Yes, in doing these hard but worthwhile things for His sake we’ll discover why He calls us to them for our sakes!
Glad to be working for Him with you,