Tuesday, March 22, 2016


My life has been like a jigsaw puzzle. From before my birth, all the separate pieces were sealed up in a box so that none would be missing. 

The Scriptures say that “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,” and “we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” “The days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them...in Thy book they were all written.”

Usually the picture of the finished puzzle is on the top of the box. In my life-puzzle the box top picture was missing, known only to God. It has been up to me, under His loving plan, to put it together along with others who helped shape my life and the circumstances in which the drama of my life has taken place. Even now in my summit season of life the puzzle is still unfinished and parts of the picture continually surprise me.

Putting together puzzles was one of the traditional fun things we did with our family of four boys. Sometimes our pet dog would find a piece that dropped under the table and chew it up! When children are small, they start with puzzles of only a few large, simple pieces. Our family progressed to puzzles of a thousand or more pieces. Now you can buy circular puzzles, 3-D puzzles, and other complicated variations. I think my life-puzzle is more like those complex ones—and it seems to have taken longer. Most recently one of my sons and his son spent hours in inclement weather working together on a thousand piece Mega puzzle which I photographed here. It features a famous artist's painting from his “Hometown” collection. It is still unfinished....

As in life, God gradually gives me more pieces to fit into my life puzzle, but He still hasn't let me see the cover of the box. All of God's people-pictures are unique. It takes a lifetime to assemble all the pieces into a meaningful whole. It is incomplete at any point, even now. Sometimes it seems as if there are too many confusing dark pieces and they are the most difficult to fit in. In my life, where would cancer and widowhood fit in? No experience is wasted in God’s picture. There are many small pieces that are critical to the whole. And some are look-alikes, they almost fit, but not quite. I try to force some into the wrong place but the time is not right. I must wait for the context to become clear. Some are the ordinary looking ones, the trivials, the routines, the unremarkable ones of daily life. But if even one piece is missing, the puzzle won't be complete. 
Mine will eventually be complete, and so will yours. “In Him [Jesus] you have been made complete” (Colossians 2:10). “He [God] who began...will perfect it...” (Philippians 1:6). “I [Jesus] am the Alpha [A] and the Omega [Z], the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).

I may not see the finished picture until God Himself fits in the final surprising piece and I view it from Heaven's side in the dimension that is Eternity. Then I will understand that every single piece had its purpose and place. Without a doubt I will see that under God’s control my life will have turned out just like the picture on the box that is me. “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Paraphrase).

When I am in the full presence of God, I will see how He answered my beloved godly grandmother's prayers for her little granddaughter as she held me in her arms as an infant during my baptism. I was marked as God's child and confirmed by my own decision to follow Jesus Christ in late childhood. And I would wonder and praise God to discover how her prayers and the prayers of my godly ancestors continued to be effectual as they reached all the way down the corridors of time to me and then through me to our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and on through generations yet to be born!

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