Thursday, September 14, 2017

"The Puzzle of Our Lives"

"The Puzzle of Our Lives"

    I recently purchased and over the course of ten days successfully completed the construction of a jigsaw puzzle.  It feels almost miraculous that I can honestly write these words because I do not possess the disposition that lends itself to such things.  I tend to see the forest rather than the trees, as it were, and placing 250 oddly shaped pieces of a puzzle into their proper places to complete the project required much attention to detail (I freely admit, by the way, that a mere 250 piece jigsaw puzzle does not qualify me to receive an award or prize!).

     My paternal grandmother began my fascination with the puzzles.  She always seemed to be in the jigsaw process when I visited her.  In recent times, Miss Liz serves as my model and inspiration.  This dear lady has lived at two retirement communities where we conduct services.  Miss Liz amazes me with her patient diligence as she completes no less than 1000 piece puzzles depicting  rolling hills, lighthouses, lakes, and other scenes of beauty that begin in the complete disarray of random bits and pieces that seem impossible to fit together when one first opens the puzzle box.

   I love jigsaw puzzles because I love my grandmother and I love Miss Liz.  I also find them fascinating because they so reflect the light of God's ability to piece together the disjointed and strangely shaped pieces of our lives.

   "For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He did also predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:28-29).

   The enormity of the Apostle Paul's declaration that our Heavenly Father serves as the great Coordinator of all things in our lives boggles the mind far more than 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles.  Indeed, the Lord wastes nothing in His purpose to make us like His Son in character, nature, and way.  "All things work together for good."  No statement of Scripture should more drive us to our faces in wonder and even bewilderment.  Even more, we must respond in love and adoration as the truth of Divine purpose infuses every moment of our existence with hope, meaning, and the opportunity to believe that this or that piece of the puzzle will somehow, some day make sense as God fits it into its proper place and position.  The blessed result will be Christ shining forth from the finished project - "We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is" I John 3:2).

    I have no doubt that the Lord placed my grandmother and Miss Liz into the puzzle of my life to encourage me with the knowledge of His purpose and ability.  These two pieces seem easy to recognize and fit together in my heart and mind.  Many other fragments of life, however, remain difficult to understand.  How will that piece work together fo good, the good of conforming me to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus?  I do not know how.  I only know that.  Our Father is more than able to fit every piece of the puzzle into the fulfillment of His purposes.  When I think of my grandmother and Miss Liz, and of their patient diligence and skill with jigsaw puzzles, I remember the greater diligence and skill of our Father in Heaven with our lives.  What a legacy these two women possess in encouraging my confidence that nothing will be wasted in God's good purpose of finishing the project He began when first we trusted in the Lord Jesus…

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ."
(Philippians 1:3; 6)
"God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
(Philippians 1:6)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For unto us a child dis born unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder.  And His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)


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