Romans 8:28 (New International Version)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This past Christmas I was given a puzzle in the shape of the United States all using license plates. I usually don’t work on puzzles but this one interested me.
I must admit, I really enjoyed the puzzle. Although very frustrating at times, it was a challenge. Each time I found a piece that fit, it was extremely rewarding.
Have you ever realized how many similarities there are between puzzles and life? In a puzzle each piece plays such an important part in the big picture. In life, it’s people and events that play the important parts. As with pieces in a puzzle, each of us is unique, special in our own way. Although we may appear similar, there are no two alike. Ironically it’s our differences that make us fit.
While I was working on this puzzle, I would find a piece that I was sure belonged in this particular spot. But it didn’t fit. I just kept going back to it and trying to make it fit, forgetting that I tried it already. I guess I had my mind set on the fact that I felt it belonged there.
It made me think about how many times I’ve done that in my life. Trying to make things happen that just weren’t meant to be. I’d try over and over again even to the point of forcing it – but it wasn’t meant to be… and nothing I did changed that.
When you do puzzles, you spend so much time looking for one specific piece. You think you knew what it looked like, it seemed so obvious… but you couldn’t find it. You get so wrapped up into finding that one piece that you couldn’t see beyond it. You get frustrated and decided to let it go and step away from it for a while. When you come back to it later, you find it immediately. It was right in front of you all along.
Life has been like that for me sometimes. I try so hard to understand why things happen the way they do. I search high and low for the answers and sometimes the answers are right in front of me. It isn’t until I stop, take a step back, breathe and let it go – that the answers find me.
As I sat there looking at the pieces in this puzzle, I started thinking about the “pieces” in my life: my family, my friends, events, milestones and celebrations. There’s such a mixture of good and bad, joy and tears, happiness and sorrow.
I thought about all those pieces that I didn’t feel were important or had purpose. I reflected on all those pieces in my life that caused me to ask why… “Why me, God?”… “Why this?”. I suddenly realized that it was because of those pieces that other pieces were able to fall into place.
Everything in our lives happens for a reason. Each event, whether good or bad, signifies a piece of the puzzle. You take away one piece and it upsets the entire harmony of the finished product. I am learning to understand that even though some of the pieces in my life aren’t pleasant and some of them bring me pain and heartache, without them I couldn’t move on. No matter how unimportant I think they are, they bring me one step closer to wholeness.
We can’t possibly look at the pieces of our lives right now and understand the important role that each one of them plays, there are too many holes and the picture isn’t clear. But I know that when my journey on this Earth comes to an end, and that final piece is put into place, I’m going to look back and understand. I’ll no longer wonder why there was so much pain, or why certain people came and went in my life. And I’ll be able to see the complete picture and the beauty that went into each piece that made it whole.
Until then, I will continue to live on in faith. Knowing and trusting that all the pieces that I need are there and that it only takes a matter of time before they fall into place. Remembering that there is a big picture, a plan for me, that I’m unable to see right now. Believing that each piece of my life, even the painful ones, have purpose and play an important role. And when I’m weak, I will seek strength through prayer. I do all this in hopes that on that glorious day, when Gods masterpiece of me is finally complete, He will then whisper… “Well done”.
Dear Lord I pray that we will look toward You for the big picture. Help us not get stuck on looking at the little pieces of life but trust that You are in control. In Jesus’ name, Amen.