Thursday, April 14, 2016

Puzzling Life

Little pieces of cardboard, smooth images on one side, brown and grippy on the other, litter the counter top. One thousand of them, each a tiny part of a larger picture, daunting in their disarray.

The part I like least about solving jigsaw puzzles is the initial flipping. That pile of pieces, and statistically half of them--500, in this case--are the wrong-way up. As I right them, I sort by color. Blue sky, black and green trees, red flowers.

After hours, my eyes see details the mess hid from me at first. I can now discriminate between crimson flowers and the fire engine ones that go elsewhere.

I'm not sure I'm to that point in my life. I keep flipping over new pieces of life, and I find each one--for lack of a better word--puzzling. How does the death of a pet fit? What do I do with the pieces after a friend dies? Does the faith-colored puzzle piece really match the house hunt, or should I surround house shopping with pieces of logic, instead? Am I trying to force writing into the center of the puzzle when it should be off to the left?

I look at others' puzzles. They seem to be fitting pieces together at a good clip. And look! Theirs forms a picture so much prettier than mine!

Have you been there? Are you there now?
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It's not a race because
the pieces are varied and numerous,
but once you get to a certain point
the answers are obvious.
They pop into place.

Is that the truth?

I've touched them all
but many I didn't notice,
most I didn't see.

When I argue they're close,
you say, no, far away.

Why the puzzle in the first place?
Why watch us flip the pieces?
Want and need with jagged edges.
Do they touch somewhere,
or have I placed them too close together?

You are not a piece.
You are the table underneath,
supporting it all.

There is a moment when
there seem to be missing pieces
and one when they all slide into place.
The edges of things come into focus
before a tremor shuffles them
from my weak construction.
You never change, but You move.
Oh, how You move.
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This post doesn't wrap up with a completed puzzle for you to gaze at. I'm as unfinished as anyone. But there is a picture of how the end result should look. It teaches us to set aside those dark pieces of worry and doubt and let God deal with them. It teaches us that though we can't reconcile all the pieces, our faithful, steadfast God can and will.

It also teaches us that God has given us each different puzzles. They're all beautiful, and they're all lifetime projects that he's using to perfect our faith, teach us his ways, and encourage complete reliance on him. The last piece of life won't click into place until he does it for us by taking us from this world.

Let's gaze at that picture, the Bible, long and hard. Let's bring our mismatched pieces to our Creator and watch the beauty he makes of them.

When life is a puzzle, bring your mismatched pieces to your Creator - via @novelwritergirl


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