Friday, April 15, 2011

The Piece of the Puzzle

Romans 8:28    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

                                                             
                                                                     
     Yesterday I was watching my two granddaughters, ages 3 and 1.  We were putting together puzzles....over and over and over again!  AR was fascinated at how the puzzle pieces fit together and made a picture.  JM was just fascinated with the puzzle pieces.  She kept grabbing them and running away....I guess she thought they were pretty!  I had to distract her in order for her to relinquish the piece, but she finally let go.  
     Since AR is only 3, she tended to get a bit tense if some of the pieces didn't fit together.  She tried to make them fit, but willingly took them apart when I pointed out that they didn't go together.  A couple of times, she got frustrated and let the pieces drop to the floor, as if she wanted to quit.  Then I quietly picked up two coinciding pieces and put them together in front of her.  Her confidence was boosted, and she began to put more segments together.  When her attention faltered, I continued working on the puzzle until it was done, and then when she was interested, she began all over again as if she'd never seen it!
     Life is like a big puzzle.  A puzzle that comes with two complications.  The first is: the puzzle at unexpected times will be turned face down.  We can't see how the pieces coincide, but we have to keep trying.  The other difficulty: many times, we are only given the pieces one or two at a time.  These hindrances can cause us to panic and not know how to go on.
     Don't you hate putting a puzzle together to find in the end, that a piece was missing?  Just to let you know ahead of time, there is one missing from your life.  Everyone's puzzle is complete except for one piece.  The only thing that will fit in that spot is God.  Some people may try to make other pieces fit in that area, but nothing will match.  Money will not fit, drinking or drugs will not fit, other people cannot fit in there...it is made for God and God alone.
     Sometimes we can be like JM and grab onto a piece and hold tight, not wanting to let go.  We don't understand how to put the pieces together, and we're afraid to loosen our grip.  In order for things to move along, we must surrender our grasp, and give it to God.  There are times when we, like AR want to let the pieces drop, because we get discouraged and can't figure out how things could possibly correspond.  But God is right there, slowly assembling the pieces.   He helps us enough to renew our confidence.  We get a second wind, and begin again.
     There are times when we decide to leave the puzzle altogether, being distracted by other things.  God is still there working, even if we have forsaken Him.  He patiently puts our pieces together, waiting for us to join Him in His Work.  He will never leave us to work on our life alone.  He is always there.
                                                       
     Sometimes we need others to help us put our pieces together.  Occasionally, they can see the combinations  better than we can.  God provides helpers when we need them, to help encourage us and give us strength when we falter.
     Part of the fun of assembling puzzles is the constant unkinown.  We try to put pieces together, sometimes they fit...sometimes they don't.  If they don't fit, it would be foolish to get angry and vent and fume.  We simply pick up another piece and go on.    
          At the end of our lives, God turns the whole puzzle over to reveal a beautiful scene.   Everyone has their own draft.  No two are alike.  Our picture is made for us, and us alone.  It is one more glorious than we could have imagined.  Some of the dark pieces that were so ugly to us in life, were needed to bring out the bright and beautiul parts of our picture.  God has used the difficult and traumatic parts of our life to work with the beautiful parts, for our good.  They have helped create the unique individual that God intended for us to be. 

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