One of our daughters is particularly good at doing large, colourful and difficult puzzles – especially the ones with thousands of pieces.
As I was watched her sift through, find and place each tiny puzzle piece in the correct place I was thinking that life is like her puzzle and if we approach every situation with the same process we would find life and the people and situations in our world less challenging.
When doing a puzzle (and living our lives), there are some keys which are helpful to best complete the picture.
Get it out of the box. You can’t achieve or do anything in life until you first get all the pieces of a puzzle out of the box and out in front of you.
Lay it all out -place all the puzzle pieces picture side up so you can see what matches, how the colours of the picture goes together and what you have to work with. Anything we undertake in, life much like a puzzle, takes understanding, thought and being able to see the size and complexity of the task before us before we begin.
Frame it up. Find the pieces that create the border of the picture or the frame first. Just like a puzzle life needs a framework or foundation to hold everything together and to give us a clear and reliable base to work the rest of the picture from. Once we have the framework in place we can begin to fill in the rest. The best framework I’ve discovered is Jesus and what He says. He holds my life and it’s pieces together, which then gives me the freedom and confidence to live out the picture.
Find the pieces that match and fit together. God has already designed the story or picture of our lives and has given us everything we will need and desire. Its up to us however to partner with him in joining up with, arranging and fitting each puzzle piece of our life and destiny snugly together. Sometimes the puzzle pieces may not look like they don’t fit together at first glance, but in the big scheme of things they do. Or other times we can presume a piece goes with another, especially if they look alike, but on trying to connect them up they just don’t fit. It’s okay to see how things work, to explore and to discover. These pieces can be in our relationships, career choices, hobbies, a church community or even our exercise routine. Take time to see what actually works and fits in your big picture.
Perseverance and time – large, intricate, colourful puzzles, much like what life looks like, take time and perseverance. To complete the picture we have to regularly assess each piece and section of the big picture. Some pieces look right but as the puzzle progresses obviously aren’t meant to go together; and some pieces take a long time to locate to the correct spot. We can even lose a piece and have to stop and look on the floor or under something to find it again. Life can throw us curve balls; we can make a wrong move, connect to the wrong people or pursuits and in life things change…fortunately God is faithful and goes looking for and restores our missing or bent out of shape pieces so that our picture can be completed.
God knows what it’s all meant to look like so we can trust him to help us find what may have become lost in us or never even made it out of the box. He’ll guide us to connect each little piece of the puzzle together, bring the right connecting people and pieces into our lives, and to give us the strength to persevere, until all the pieces finish the picture.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
Prayer: Lord please help me to bring all the pieces of my life together and to trust that what you have started in me you will complete so that every piece fits perfectly. In Jesus name Amen.