I like to put jigsaw puzzles together. It fascinates me that dissimilar pieces, put together in the right way, become interesting pictures.
Sometimes there are pieces that don’t seem to fit anywhere. You can turn them every whichaway and try to jam them in, but to no avail. As you get more and more pieces in place and those same pieces still won’t fit, you might begin to believe they are part of another puzzle and somehow just got in the wrong box. You might be tempted to throw them away.
But if you lay those pieces aside, sometimes, someone else comes along and slides them into just the right spot. They do belong in the puzzle after all!
Life: A Puzzle
My life has sometimes seemed like a jigsaw puzzle. I have trouble seeing how the different parts of my history fit with the life I live today. I can see some connections between some people or events in my life. But there are still some things that just don’t fit.
Why did I fall in love with the wrong person? Why did I make all those mistakes, as I tried to understand life? Why did some of the precious people I loved get sick, suffer and die? Why are there ugly pieces in my puzzle at all?
But each person and event in our life is a part of our story. Even when we don’t know what to do with the puzzling pieces of our life, God does. When we allow God to put the pieces where they really go, we discover that in the whole of it, the picture somehow becomes beautiful.
God’s Jigsaw Puzzle
In what we have come to call communion, God gave us a beautiful picture of His Jigsaw Puzzle. Jesus held out a loaf of bread. He told His Disciples the loaf represented His Body. Then He did a curious thing. He broke the bread into pieces. He gave a piece to each of them. Jesus told them they were to eat and remember Him.
Then Jesus took bread
and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving.
He broke the bread, gave it to them and said,
“This is My Body, Which is given up for you.
Do this to remember Me.”
Perhaps the disciples thought Jesus was telling them to hold Him in mind and not to forget Him. However, in fact, Jesus was telling them how to see the beauty of the whole instead of just the puzzling pieces.
Putting The Pieces Together
Jesus was reminding them that He and His Father God were already connected to them.
… I am in My Father,
and you are in Me,
and I am in you.
Jesus comforted His Disciples by letting them know ahead of time that even though it would seem He had gone away, He, in fact, would still be with them and they would be able to see Him. Their Connection with Him was about to get larger, not smaller.
I will not leave you all alone.
I will come back to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see Me,
but you will see Me.
You will live because I live.
A New Way of Seeing!
It did appear Jesus left the earth. His Followers saw Him rise into the clouds. They saw the physical body they were so used to seeing, disappear.
However, having been directed by Jesus to carry on His Work, the disciples began to use the skills He had given them. They worked together. They brought other people together with them. They all praised God in unity and cared for each other.
The more they worked together and remembered Jesus, the more they could see Him in each other. They saw the Passion of Jesus in Peter. They saw the Compassion of Jesus in John. They heard the teachings of Jesus come alive, as they shared His Teachings with others. As they each used their God Given Gifts in unity, the pieces began to connect. They were not individual pieces. They were a part of The Glorious Whole of God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit.
In unity, the Truth of Jesus’ Words was revealed.
My Prayer is not for them alone.
I pray also for those who will believe in Me
through their message,
that all of them may be one, Father,
just as You are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be in Us
so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
Jesus’ Body, which had been broken, was being put back together. And on The Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ Followers and all around them saw God and Jesus in glorious Unity with The Holy Spirit and with them.
The Great Puzzle Master
Every human on earth was created by God. Each one was sent to earth with talents and gifts to share. When we look at some people, we do not see how they could possibly be part of God’s Picture and Plan. They don’t fit. We want to ignore them or worse, eliminate them all together.
And yet, if we study the lives of some of the people God used mightily, we find a great irony. The traits they had from the beginning of their lives stayed with them through their lives. Those who had character flaws became Instruments of God, when they submitted to Him.
The “flaws” that nearly destroyed them were, in fact, just puzzle pieces turned the wrong way. Peter’s impulsiveness became his boldness for Jesus. Saul’s focus and passion to kill Christians became Paul’s focus and passion to save everyone into Christ’s Kingdom.
No one but God could have formed them so perfectly and turned them just the right way at just the right time.
Completing The Puzzle
Puzzled about the pieces of your life? Puzzled about those around you? Puzzled about the state of the country or the world? It is no puzzle to God.
God knows His Plan for each person on earth. He awaits the day when each of us is willing to let Him put us where we fit. He awaits our awakening to the knowledge that those with whom He has connected us are for a greater purpose than we know. We can only see a limited part of God’s Picture, but He is already smiling in anticipation of how beautiful His Creation will be when we are all fit together in His Perfect Plan.
One day God will reveal His Face to all. Every eye will see Him. And some may be surprised to find that His Perfect and Beautiful Face is composed of all the pieces of Himself that were in each person on earth. In the ultimate re-membering of Jesus, we will see what He said He wanted for us. He wanted us to see His Glory!
Puzzle Solved! Seeing His Glory!
(Jesus talking to God)
The Glory that You have given Me
I have given to them,
that they may be one
even as We are One,
I in them and You in Me,
that they may become perfectly One,
so that the world may know
that You sent Me and loved them
even as You loved Me.
Father, I desire that they also,
whom You have given Me,
may be with Me where I am,
to see My Glory that you have given Me
because You loved Me
before the formation of the world.
And The Glory of the Lord
will be revealed,
and all people will see it together. …
I love that! When things aren’t just right, I’ll remember, “It’s just a puzzle piece turned the wrong way!”