Bob and I are still on this jigsaw puzzle binge. Our middle daughter, now living in New York, loves these crazy things, so for her birthday this year we are sending her a jigsaw puzzle each month, only with a bit of a twist. Once she completes the picture, she is to turn the puzzle over and there will be a message “from someone who loves her”. Which means Bob and I have to put the puzzles together first, roll them up carefully, and send them out to friends and family who write/draw on the blank sides, roll them up again and send them back to me in the same tube.
Postage paid, of course.
One of my friends here at home has seen some of our handiwork dominating the dining room table. She also enjoys puzzles and told me recently that she had just finished a brand new one, fresh out of the box. Wouldn’t you know, down to the last piece…and it wasn’t there. Yes, she looked all over, on the floor, all that. Nope. Manufacturer error. All that time and effort with the anticipated build up to the big finale, the completed picture, and…ARRGH!!!
This comes to mind as I’m praying this morning a powerfully scripted prayer by John Eldredge, the part where it says, “Heavenly Father…Thank you for including me in Christ, forgiving me my sins, granting me his righteousness, making me complete in him.”
That made me hit the pause button. How often I think of my life as just that, my life. I’m trying to put the pieces together, sometimes seemingly without the photograph on the box to go off of! And I’m constantly looking for certain pieces to fit into place: loved ones who have strayed, health issues, financial concerns, personal weirdness, whatever.
Then I realize it’s not about trying to find and fit pieces into my life, not really. Sometimes my own expectations get in the way, and I end up trying to build a picture for which the pieces are not made. End result: frustration, disillusionment, and disappointment with God Himself.
“So you also are complete through your union with Christ…”
What’s actually on the table, the puzzle that’s being constructed, (if I agreed to it, that is), is me. It’s the redemption of my soul, the reconstruction of my heart, and the renewal of my mind. That changes everything. Now there’s a photo I can go off of, Jesus Christ Himself, to become like Him, to become one with Him. Wow.
This is how Jesus sees the puzzle:
“I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me…I am in them and you are in me.”
It’s a brand, new box, this “me” He’s working on. This unity with Him is the picture He’s after; everything else is just background and will come increasingly into focus as the oneness with Him continues to be put together. Learning His voice, submitting to His will…and it takes time and effort on my part as well. In this divine puzzle, however, there are no missing pieces: redemption, restitution, deliverance, provision, repentance, divine order and perspective—it’s all there.
Plus, the postage is marked “PAID”.
Colossians 2:10; John 17:21-23 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.