My puzzle reflects the colors and design of the Southwest United States — a region I love. Turquoise moccasins, Native American pottery and a sunset of desert textures.
Yet beyond the stress-relieving act of fitting my puzzle pieces together, God teaches me precious lessons of faith.
Think about the Big Picture. Once I found the borders of the puzzle, everything should have begun to snugly fit together.
But something didn’t look right.
My son found the answer. He’s a consider-the-forest guy while I look at the trees. “This piece doesn’t fit,” he said, picking up a copper squiggle. “It skews the big picture.”
He was right. When I found the correct piece and snapped it into place, the big picture made more sense.
Sometimes we think a certain direction is best for our lives. But something about the final decision doesn’t seem right.
Something doesn’t fit.
Red flags stop us or circumstances change. We can’t see the big picture.
But God can. He exists beyond the past, present and future. He knows how to work out our lives and fit each day into the next so our destinies become clear.
Don’t Try to Force an Answer. A puzzle piece may look right and seem to fit, but one side snags or won’t quite align. Forcing the piece into that particular hole can bend it or even break it.
Then the puzzle is flawed.
If we try to force something to work or move forward on our own, we can damage ourselves or someone else in our sphere of influence.
If the circumstances aren’t working out and our pathway seems skewed, trying to force a decision, a relationship or a direction messes with our destiny.
How many of us have forged ahead and forced something to happen, then later regretted our actions?
When God manages the puzzles of our lives, all the pieces end up fitting together perfectly — without adverse circumstances.
Give It Time. A 300-piece puzzle cannot be completed in one hour. My puzzle lay on the table for several weeks where I worked on it a few minutes at a time.
As we face decisions or transitions in life, they take time to percolate and work out all the details. Patience is learned through the long passage of time.
Hurry is the antagonist of patience.
The best relationships involve the excitement of gradually learning about each other. Starting a new job includes a learning curve and perseverance.
Writing a book requires late nights, early mornings or weekend discipline. One word, one sentence, one character sketch at a time until the final period is typed. Sometimes the process takes years.
The best answers are revealed as a result of a waiting period. The strongest faith is birthed through years of experience, long periods of waiting and the courage to ask questions that may even increase the struggle.
We often don’t see a purpose in the details until patience has completed its perfect work.
The Apostle James underscored this truth, “When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” (James 1:3-4 The Living Bible).
God rarely answers our “Why?” questions. Instead, he urges us to trust — even when we’re so weary we can only continue the journey with an extra measure of God’s grace.
My puzzle gives me joy, because I love the colors and the promise of the final result.
Surely God also feels joy when he moves the pieces of our lives together. The final result reflects his love.
We just need to stay in hope, let him move the pieces around and patiently wait.
©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved