Have you ever opened a puzzle box and dropped all those tiny pieces onto a table. I like to begin by sorting all the pieces according to shades of color. After I have all the colors separated into stacks, then I start looking for straight edges. Straight edges must go in place first. Because straight edges are the puzzle border … always. I’ve never seen a puzzle piece, with a straight edge, that eventually found its way to the middle of a puzzle. A straight edge on a puzzle piece …. is always a border. Always. So I start putting together the border….first. I never try to piece together a puzzle working from the middle. I start with the border. Why? Because I like clean straight edges. After all the clean straight edges are in place, I can begin to see where the odd shapes and colors will match up.
If you’re not seeing the picture here….let me be a little clearer. Many times, life will hand us a puzzle. A puzzle on a job, a puzzle in a family, a puzzle of a friendship, a puzzle at church, a puzzle in your wallet, a puzzle in your health, a puzzle in your ministry, a puzzle with your marriage, a puzzle in the home, a puzzle down the road to retirement. It’s all a puzzle.
And when you first open the box, it looks like all these tiny, little broken pieces. Pieces of unemployment, pieces of broken families, pieces of scarce friendships, pieces of bills and debt, pieces of sickness, pieces of empty investment accounts. Pieces. That’s all we get, is the box full of pieces. So sorry to let you down. That’s not my intent. My intention is to let you know …
That God is at the table. God has never left you alone with a puzzle. He pulls up a chair and takes a seat at the table with you …. He never leaves you alone to piece it together all by yourself. He doesn’t. That would be the equivalent to you going to visit the doctor because you are sick, and the doctor leaves you in an examination room, by yourself, to diagnose yourself, and write yourself a prescription. It doesn’t happen that way. And so it is with God. He gave you life. He didn’t anticipate that you would know exactly what to do with it all. It’s a puzzle.
And He’s at the table to help you piece it together.
He may ask you to start laying the borders first. All the straight pieces…..the pieces that you know exactly where they fit together, and then build on those things. But I assure you, those pieces will start to come together. It’s not simple. No puzzle ever is. It’s work. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of sitting still and just looking at the pieces. It takes asking a lot of questions … Where does this piece go, and how does that piece fit the picture.
But the truth is … you can start piecing together something beautiful from something broken. It sounds cliche, I know. But it is the truth. Some of the most broken things come together to make some of the most beautiful things in life.
So the next time you are handed a puzzle, with tiny, little broken pieces …. just ask Him for a little help in putting it together.
Then pick up the first piece,
The straight edge, of course…
and the next,
and the next,
and the next.
If you have all the pieces … You know the final picture is going to be beautiful.
Okay….I know someone reading this is thinking….what happens when I’m missing a piece. Trust Him to help you find it. Because we know when life hands us a puzzle …. A peace …. is usually what you’re looking for anyway.
Ecclesiastes 3:11. “He has made everything beautiful in its time”