Friday, July 16, 2010

Working On A Puzzle?

Do you ever look around and just wonder what people are thinking? Maybe why they make the decisions they make or what has happened in life to make us who we are today? Sometimes things just don't seem to make sense at all. No matter how much we try to put things together we just can't seem to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.
Puzzles intrigue us and keep us busy trying to figure them out. My grandmother loved puzzles. She would get one out and finish it in a week. She would buy that special glue so she could keep together what she had created from hours of tedious work. It wasn't just tedious, but work she enjoyed. It brought a smile to her face and gave her added joy. It was just simply something she loved no matter the hard work. Adding piece by piece over time it all came together to form a beautiful picture. One that looked almost perfect as she hung it on the wall.

Life is a puzzle isn't it? We can look at the picture on the box and it seems so beautiful, so simple, but yet so complex. We gather all the pieces out on the table and begin putting them together. Getting all the ends and putting together that outer layer always seems easiest. It's when you begin moving closer to the center that it really gets hard. You can place all the colored pieces just where you think they will go, but sometimes even though it looks so perfect, like it is in the right place and the right shape, it just doesn't fit. The more you try to place it there, the more you struggle. You end up with this piece in your hand and you just don't want to give up until you find where it fits.

We can have all the pieces laying out in front of us and realize it just doesn't look anything like the outside of the box. We get in our mind this perfect picture. One that we think seems so easy, until one day we lose a piece of the puzzle. We need that one piece to bring it all together for us, but we have no idea where we lost it. We search and search for that one piece, and it seems like it was right there in front of us, so close, but then it slipped and we are stuck trying to find it.

Family can feel like this at times. At once you thought all was perfect. Everything just seemed so simple, until one day, one day out of the blue, a piece just seems to fall away and your family that you thought was glued tight comes apart and falls to the ground. It's funny how everything just seems to fit and then one day it's like somebody knocks that puzzle off the table and you are left scattering to find all the pieces.

It might be your children, your marriage, maybe you have lost your job, maybe illness has hit your family out of no where and you are sitting there trying to figure out how everything changed overnight. In just one split second life changed. That perfect picture is no longer longer there, but a picture has replaced it and your stuck trying to figure out who all those people are inside that frame.

Sometimes it seems as though everything around us is changing and we are simply trying to find our way through the maze. We once could find our way around when everything was familiar. Now we look around and everything is moved, changed and even the surroundings are not the same. So we stand there confused. Not knowing what to do and how to fix this puzzle. Looking on the outside it just seemed so easy,but it was when you opened that box that all the pieces got tossed around.

So, what do we do now? What do we do when everything just doesn't make any sense anymore? No matter how hard we work at this puzzle, no matter how much time we put into it, it just isn't coming together like you thought it would. Do we try to fix it? Do we leave it alone? Do we, what? What do we do?

You know what we do? We go to the only One who makes sense. Jesus Christ. We lay before Him crying out for help. We beg Him to show us what to do. We cry out to Him for strength. We ask Him to wash us with His wisdom and understanding. Even if we cannot understand the situation or those around us, we don't have to. All we have to do is place our faith and trust in Him. See, He sees each piece. He knows where they all fit. He sees the outside of the box and He knows the inside even better. No matter how mixed up all those pieces are, He is the One who can put it all back together. He is the One who can make sense out of what we cannot see clearly.

Sometimes I just want to throw all those pieces down and cry, giving up. Because no matter how much I try I am not going to have the outside of that box. But I cannot give up. I can however let go and let God. I can back away from the puzzle and trust Him with all the pieces.

I seem to have one of those more difficult puzzles, you know the ones, those with over a thousand pieces. But even the most difficult and time consuming puzzle God knows just how to place it all together and He has the glue to make it all connect just right, leaving us with sometimes a more beautiful picture that what was on the outside of the box. All those mixed up pieces can come together, but sometimes those harder puzzles just take more time. We must have patience. From the time we pick up that very first piece and hold it in our hands looking at all the possibilities to the very last when it finally all comes together, it is the time and love we put in that really binds that puzzle together.

No matter what size of puzzle you have in front of you today, no puzzle is too big for God. In those times we cannot understand, step back and allow God to wash us with His understanding that surpassing everything. When we are just simply tired of trying to fit it all together. Step back away from the puzzle, giving ourselves a rest and allow God to work each piece in His time. He will pick up the pieces and know just where they fit and where they don't. He will even take that imperfect piece that was lost and bring it to the center of that puzzle placing it in that perfect spot. Sometimes all we need to do is back away and let someone else work on it for a while. If your having trouble fitting your pieces together, take a step back, lay it down and give God a try.

Proverbs 3:5 -6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me Your ways, O, Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I will wait all the day."

Romans 5:5 "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
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