Growing up, I highly disliked working puzzles. My sister would always have one of those 5000 piece puzzles sitting out on a table, the entire winter, working on it as she had time. Holiday time, when the entire family was around, puzzles would be brought out for everyone to work at putting them together. I would stop and attempt to put in a few pieces, but I would quickly give up on it. I couldn’t figure out a strategy. It all seemed so random to me.
It’s only been in the last few years I’ve finally found some secrets to working puzzles. Now, I can sit down and confidently work on one, knowing I can at least get the edges done and find some of the inner pieces, until it gets to the part where all the colors are the same. I can’t say that I ever actually choose to work a puzzle, but at least I feel competent to associate with the puzzle-working crowd.
On the flipside, fitting the pieces of my life-puzzle together has interested me for a very long time, since I took my first psychology class in high school. That class started me to wondering about what had shaped me into who I was and what was forming me into who I was becoming. I began to question why I did the things I did.
I had a crush on the son of my high school Sunday School teacher. He and I would often sing together in church, and we would spend many Sunday afternoons practicing songs, just for the fun of it. I admired his Mom and looked to her for wisdom. The two of them sang one particular song, regularly, and I never forgot the chorus to it.
The song was called “Pieces”, and the words I remember were….
“He said pieces, pieces, so many pieces to your life…
scattered all around, and some of them are gone.
I can put them all together, and there will never be
another one who can.”
I was moved by those words, especially because of what it meant in the lives of that Sunday School teacher and her son. They had come through a lot of rough places in life, and I knew what it took for them to trust that God could put the pieces of their lives together again.
That gave me courage and hope for my own life. It spurred me on to begin the dangerous journey of searching for all the pieces to the puzzle of my life and allowing God to put them together to show me the big picture of how my life had come to that point, where it was going, and what He wanted to do to transform it so that the puzzle could be the picture He intended it to be from the start.
The longer I live, the more I realize that everyone has puzzle pieces of their lives that are scattered and jumbled, that don’t make a lot of sense. How easy it is for us to just let the pieces fall where they may and not try to put them together to find understanding and meaning in them. It is a daunting task to allow God to take those pieces into His hands, to let Him reveal their meaning to us, and then to give Him the freedom to put the pieces together His way, so that the picture of our lives turns out as He desires it.
He is the Master Puzzle Maker, though, and no matter how we might try, we can never put together a life puzzle that will fit perfectly and become a breathtaking work of art. When we give the pieces to Him, the life He forms from that puzzle, becomes a picture that makes sense; it takes it’s true and intended form, and ultimately, it radiates His glory for all to see.