Putting together a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle is not easy. It is rewarding and satisfying to finally finish it, but it’s something that is worked on little by little—even months to complete. Our lives as Christians are very similar.
In putting my puzzle together, I was convinced that pieces were missing! However, I knew what I had purchased was complete and all the pieces had to be there somewhere. I carefully laid out every piece on my board and painstakingly went over and over them to find that one piece that I thought I knew would fit into its (obvious) place. I was so excited to finally find the piece that fit into the right place, only to realize it didn’t look anything like what I thought it should look like. That particular piece was not obvious laying on my board among all the other pieces, but when I put it in its place, it made perfect sense. I heard myself saying many times during this process, “Who knew this was the piece I was looking for?”
Once I found the right piece, it would almost ‘click’ together. It was obvious that it was the right one because of the way it perfectly fit together with the other pieces. More than once, I would put a piece in a spot where I thought it was supposed to be, but it just didn’t set right or make total sense as I placed the pieces around it. It almost fit perfectly and looked like it should be there—it was so close! Once I realized the piece I had mistakingly put in wasn’t supposed to be there, I took it out and put the right piece in its place, which made more sense in the picture. After awhile, my puzzle began to take on the true image of the completed picture on the box.
I began to see that my life was a lot like this puzzle. As I laid out the pieces of what my picture was supposed to look like, I realized something very fundamental—I needed to keep looking at the picture on the box to put my puzzle together. I would be so lost if I didn’t have the finished picture to look at! Jesus is our completed picture that we are to keep looking at to make the pieces of our lives take shape and look like Him.
I like things in my life to fit the way they are supposed to—God made me that way. However, I’ve learned that I need to be patient in the process. Those pieces will come as I continue to look for them. Some pieces are not obvious, others are. I also know that I’m not able to find those pieces the moment I want to find them to complete my picture. This has everything to do with my ‘control’ issues. It’s obvious that I’m not the one in control of how fast I can find the pieces and put them together.
Even though God uniquely designed each one of us, the ‘picture’ of our lives is supposed to look just like Jesus (…as He is, so are we in this world. —1 John 4:17). What a process God has done in my own life as I remember how my pieces came in the ‘box’ of my broken humanity. The Lord lays out all of our pieces so carefully and puts them together to fit into the perfect picture of what He created us to be—just like Jesus—whose picture is on the box!
The surprising benefits of putting a puzzle together, besides finding the pieces that fit, is the time spent with Him in the process. I love the time we spend putting puzzles together. Our communication is so sweet as we talk about all the pieces of my life. He shows me things He has done in my life and is doing now—about my future, and even about heaven. I talk to Him (pray) about all my concerns and cares. It’s the same way as we go about the everyday routines of our lives. We just need to remember to keep our eyes and attention on Him—He’s already with us.
Who knew that putting a jigsaw puzzle together would be something God would use to show me about my life, how to be conformed into His image, and drawing closer to Him?
Things to remember:
Keep looking at the finished picture—Jesus. Be patient. Don’t ever stop. Keep searching, working, praying, and praising. Read your Bible, forgive yourself (and others), be grateful and thankful, and repent for things He shows you where you’ve missed it. Allow God to remove the pieces that don’t fit in your life and replace them with the right pieces (He will even show you the pieces that fit in the places where you didn’t think they would fit). Have faith that all the pieces are already supplied, just look to Him to show you and wait on His timing.