Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Puzzle

One of my "church guys" was thinking about God's plans after we had a phone converstion, and he sent his thoughts in an email. I liked what he worote and asked if I could share it here. He agreed, and so I have a guest blogger for the first time. Welcome, Tom D.

Our lives are similar to a jigsaw puzzle!

At our birth, God opens a new box of pieces and dumps them haphazardly upon the worktable. At first look, the disarray of pieces seems utterly and completely confusing,but God in His wisdom can already envision His finished handiwork. He only needs us to comply with His will. Some people are willing to comply with His plan from the onset; others will withstand at first and then comply, and some will continually resist His construction for eternity. Yet throughout the lives of those "unwilling" (and often the willing) God returns to their puzzles periodically to give them another opportunity to allow God to resume His work. But the choice to be assembled by God will always be ours - our free will.

As we begin our lives, God slowly begins to assemble the pieces. He carefully aligns each piece to interlock with the consecutive pieces. Sometimes He assembles the easy parts first. Sometimes He concentrates on assembling the difficult parts. But once each piece is completed and secured into place, He picks another piece and begins again. Slowly, as each area is assembled, a part of "the big picture" is revealed.

But we anxious and impatient humans often neglect to take the time to look at what God has accomplished to this point. Instead we want to rush to the completion. We want to see the whole picture before we continue -- we crave security-- even though God has promised to complete us in His time.

Sometimes when we arrive at difficult parts of the puzzle, we want God to rush to the completion of that portion. We take matters into our own hands and choose pieces of the puzzle that look as if they might fit together, trying to force them to fit the way we want reality to fit. We then have choices. We can allow God to remove those pieces and assemble them properly acording to His plan, or we can live with the reality that our completed puzzle might not be all that God planned for us.

Even though we may refuse to be reassembled, God sent His Son to cover those parts for us. As God assembles each significant piece of our puzzle, we must learn to trust His workmanship and accept each individual piece placement. We need to be patient - not usually one of our greatest human attributes.

Some people have "many pieces" puzzles, and some have "few pieces" puzzles, yet we need to accept the puzzle God has provided us. We can earn to respect God's design and anticipate the completion with joy, allowing Him to assemble our puzzles without resistance.

Sometimes God will work on our borders. Sometimes He will piece together part of the left lower corner. Sometimes the upper right corner. Sometimes He works on the center. In confusion, we often question how and if all these portions can possibly fit together. We want a continuous, ordered assembly, an assembly that WE find logical, not chaotic. We yearn for the security of knowing that each piece has a definitive reason for placement. Sometimes we demand an explanation of that specific placement. Yet slowly and gently and methodically, God directs each part for a perfect fit and smoothes the connections once we accept His placement.

Day in and day out, year in and year out, God continues to assemble our puzzle. One day God will place the last piece of our puzzle into place. His masterpiece is completed! He will call us to His side, put His arm around our shoulder and gently say, "See, child? Look and see the beauty of the completed picture my well-placed pieces have formed. What you thought was disarray and confusion has become ordered and beautiful. My completion of your puzzle is perfect. Look! What you once saw as a pile of small, unrelated, scattered pieces now displays my divine workmanship, worthy to displayed and treasured in My house!"


Sally said...

what a wonderful reflection- and yet how hard it is to be reassembled.
Prayers for your journey Singing Owl.

Anonymous said...

I like this word picture. Thanks for posting it. I am one who badly wants to see the whole picture.

Sista Cala said...

I have a wooden jigsaw puzzle that was given to me as a child. It was made in England. A treasure from a family friend who was a world traveler.

My mother tried her best to make sure I put all the pieces away each time that I worked the puzzle. But somewhere along the way, I lost one piece. I still have the puzzle, but never found the piece.

That is the beautiful thing about God. When we lose a piece of our lives, He is well able to replace it. More often than not, the replacement piece is much better than the original.