I’ve been thinking a lot about puzzles. Not because I love them. In fact, they frustrate me.
I’m thinking about them because I feel like I’m IN THE MIDDLE of a puzzle. A puzzle with 2000 or more tiny little pieces with bright colors, but jagged edges.
There are bulk sections where the pieces fit snuggly together, and even a confident frame of edge pieces, but there are definitely sections – gaps – that are begging to be completed. At least that’s how it feels.
There are puzzle pieces strewn about all across the table, and some rebellious pieces on the floor.
And I feel like this puzzle is my life. And perhaps it’s yours, too.
When you have a glimpse of the bigger picture, it’s just a matter of time and diligence to methodically place the pieces together. It takes time. Patience. Effort. Trial and error. Missing pieces. Pieces that get stuck under the chair leg. Losing the box top at times because a toddler runs through the room and decides to use it as a drum.
In life, I think one of the most challenging places to be is “in the middle.”
- In the middle of waiting for a dream to be fulfilled.
- In the middle of waiting on loose ends to tie together so you have clarity.
- In the middle of a storm waiting for it to pass.
- In the middle of the desert knowing that if you just keep walking, you’ll reach that oasis.
- In the middle of waiting for that doctor’s report.
- In the middle of trying with everything you’ve got to see if you can salvage that relationship.
- In the middle of giving all you have to build your dream and hoping that one day it pans out financially.
- In the middle of begging for God to heal your body or your marriage.
Whatever that “in the middle” place is for you, remember this: God is right there with You. In fact, more than that, He created the image on the box. He created that image – His – within you.
So today, if you feel the frustration – the overwhelm – the disappointment – the anxiety – of being “in the middle,” speak this over your heart: He is with me. He will never leave me or forsake me. And because of that I can trust His plan even when I don’t see how it will all come together.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)
The middle won’t last forever. It won’t. It can’t. Because God is always at work… even when You can’t see or believe that He is. He’s working.
And you see, not only did He create the image on the box – the same one He’s put within you – but He also puts the pieces together. One by one. He knows exactly where they fit. He’s the Master Puzzle Maker. He never leaves the gaps. He never loses a piece. He’s never confused. He’s never frustrated. He’s working on His timeframe to complete the puzzle with you, for you.
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. ~ Romans 8:28 (NIV)
One day, you’ll look with joy and surprise and realize that through all the frustrations and waiting and gaps, the pieces have finally come together. And the gift is two-fold: you now see a beautiful puzzle and you’ve learned so much by watching the Master Puzzle Maker work His craft and glory within you.