Puzzle Pieces

I love jigsaw puzzles. However, I’m quite particular about which ones I enjoy the most. My favorites are made from  the Americana paintings of Charles Wysocki. Clear-cut lines, lots of colors, not too much sky.  I don’t care for puzzles with muted colors that run together, it’s too hard to see any progress.

Have you ever thought about how you do a jigsaw puzzle? You don’t start at the top left-hand corner and work your way across, row by row. Personally, I usually start by finding all the edge pieces and when I have the outside frame all or mostly completed, I begin looking for pieces that obviously go together.

The puzzle goes together little by little. You watch each area grow one piece at a time. Sometimes there’s a hole that you just can’t seem to fill. Other times there’s one piece that you keep trying everywhere for so long you wonder if it really belongs to a different puzzle and was put in the wrong box.

When you finally put in the last piece and look at the completed picture you feel a certain satisfaction and joy seeing the finished product.  When my boys were younger they used to beg to be allowed to put in the last piece. Are you kidding? After I’ve worked for days on this puzzle, they want to put in the last piece?

I know we’ve all  heard the analogy that  life is like a great tapestry. The picture  is beautiful but the underside is messy and gives very little help in discovering the picture on top.

I would like to suggest that life is also like a jigsaw puzzle. God designed the picture and know exactly where each piece goes. He also knows exactly in which order the pieces need to be added.

We sometimes feel like we’re holding a piece in our hand and though we look and look at the unfinished picture, we just can’t see where our piece fits. At this  point, what the Lord asks us to do is to wait. He will show us where our piece fits when the time is  right. And when the piece is in and the picture final finished, we will be able to share in His joy over  it’s completion.

And the last piece?  Jesus gets to place that one!

“I wait  for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” – Psalm 130:5 (NASB)

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6 (ESV)