One of my favorite hobbies is to sit quietly and work on a (not-too-difficult) puzzle; there must be something therapeutic in this ordeal for me as I slowly fit each puzzle piece together to form a picture. Because of this, and also because it’s a relational activity, I keep a puzzle stretched out at our kitchen table on a continual basis for anyone who wants to join in. So yesterday, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I sat down with Simon, our French exchange student, and we worked together, placing one puzzle piece at a time in it’s designated spot.
Our lives can be compared to one large puzzle, with God Himself being the puzzle-worker. All the pieces are present from the beginning, and there is a beautiful masterpiece waiting to put together by its Creator. He knows where each piece fits, and He knows exactly when to put it in its place. Every piece is different in shape and markings; some are bright and full of color, while others are drab and dreary, serving as a neccessary backdrop to the revealed glory by its side.
Do you trust your Puzzle-Working God? In other words, do you undoubtedly believe that God knows best in both the timing and the order of your days? Or, do you find yourself becoming impatient, wanting to yank the “puzzle pieces” from His hand and do life yourself? Be careful, the bible teaches that there will be consequences to this method. Think of Sarai, Abram’s wife, who decided to take matters into her own hands in order to fulfill God’s promise of bearing a son (Genesis 16).
Do you find joy in your Puzzle-Working God? Or are you upset with Him because your picture is not the one you would have picked for yourself? The bible speaks of this as well in the Potter/Clay analogy: You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing?” (Isaiah 29:16). I know there have been specific times in my life when I have had to beg the Lord to change my embittered clinched fists to joyful hands of praise… and He gracefully answers my repentant prayers.
I encourage you to rest your impatient hands and your questioning heart in a God who is fully trustworthy and entirely faithful–even in the drab and dreary times of your life! These pieces, too, are a significant and irreplacable part of your beautiful picture. God promises hope and contentment in His word when you just can’t see or understand what He is up to in your days. There is no challenge too difficult or no project too confusing for this Grand Puzzle-Worker. He longs to willingly and winsomely create your life’s portrait, piece by piece, peace by peace.