The process of fitting one piece of a puzzle to another challenges us to keep looking for other pieces until its beauty reveals itself. Finishing a puzzle can bring satisfaction. An already finished puzzle, however, gives us no sense of satisfaction or joy in the process.
Living is like completing a puzzle. Challenges lie before us, causing us to question and doubt our ability to solve them. In time, like a puzzle, our life-picture develops into a recognizable whole, which eventually brings rewards. Think of young men or women going to college. Each class they take may seem disconnected to the promised end result, but it is completed with the knowledge that it will help them reach their educational goals. Parents may wonder if their day-by-day acts of parental love and discipline will pay off in the end. Yet knowing they are doing the right thing brings hope their children will grow to satisfactory maturity in body, mind and spirit.
Every day we face new challenges. In fact, God allows trials to come into our lives. He also encourages us to face them head-on, not giving up but putting one piece after another in place by faith. Each time we seek his help, each time we obey his word, he gives us another piece of the puzzle until we complete the challenge and go on to the next one. Joy comes in the journey and in the completion.
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Hebrews 10:39, 11:1-2)
Many Old Testament patriarchs faced trials and challenges. No doubt their minds were filled with questions and doubts and mystery. But they persevered, faithfully obeying God’s commands, knowing that even though they couldn’t see the whole picture, it would be brought to a beautiful completion.
The “what ifs” and mysteries in our lives may seem like trials, but through faith we can accept them as challenges to be completed, like jigsaw puzzles. “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Lord, give us the will to focus on the unseen rewards, the completed puzzles of our lives. Give us the grace to persevere in our trials and tribulations, and help us to be joyful in the journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mrs. Bair may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.