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The Puzzle

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									The Puzzle

       Psalm 40:1
             -”I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my
       cry.”

       Matthew 6:27, 33-34
               -”Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?... But seek
       first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to
       you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
       worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

        I love to put puzzles together. Before my parents got divorced we used to take an
annual trip up to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. I loved those trips, as I’ve mentioned in other
devotionals. While we were there we would always sit in front of the fireplace and put a
puzzle together. I’ve always been good at puzzles. My mother used to freak out because
I had this uncanny ability to take any piece of the puzzle, look at the picture on the box,
and place the piece exactly where it would end up. Puzzles are fun because you get to
make order out of chaos.
        Don’t you wish life was that easy? A situation comes your way and you could just
pick it up, compare it to the picture of your life and know exactly what it meant, why it
happened, where it fell into place and what it would bring about in your life? Well,
obviously we don’t have a cover picture to our lives and we have no clue where life will
take us, but I know someone who does.

       Jeremiah 29:11
             -”’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to
       prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

         God made the puzzle of our lives. He designed it. He manufactured it. He made
it a reality. And He will guide us through it. He will give us the pieces and He will put
them in their places at the proper time. The thing about puzzles is that while we’re
putting it together, we’re just focused on the big picture. How do all these pieces fit
together and how do we make them look like the picture on the box? The only reason we
pay so much attention to a puzzle is because we want it to be complete. The problem is
that we try to relate those same practices to the way we live our lives. We are never
simply satisfied with just one piece of the puzzle. When God reveals something to us, it
is so hard to just be content with that one piece. We want the pieces that go around it.
We want to second guess God. Since we don’t have the layout of our lives, we want to
try to figure out on our own how the big picture will turn out. God doesn’t want us to do
that, He wants us to rely on Him for guidance and to look to Him for all of the answers.
Especially when it comes to figuring out the “why” of things in our lives.

       Isaiah 55:8-9
              -”’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your
       ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are
       my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”

         There is no second guessing God. He hates that. When we start second guessing
God, we rely on our own strength to get us through things, we start going our own way
because we think that’s where God will move next, and we start to follow our own
wisdom instead of His guidance. We get lost that way and we miss out on some really
great things that God wants to show us because we’re wandering around when He would
have us in one particular place at a specific time. The thing to remember is that God
doesn’t think like we do and He doesn’t do things the way that we do... He does it better.
         A while back I was in a dating relationship with a certain girl and we were talking
about how love is patient and how we always need to wait on God, whether in life or in
love. Well, that conversation gave me an idea. I went out and bought a Hallmark card
with a little boy and girl on the cover. The cool thing was that they were both holding
onto this long stemmed rose and looking up, kind of like they were looking up to heaven
for guidance... cool, huh? Anyway, so I took the front of that card and selected three
verses about waiting on God and superimposed them onto the card, laminated it and then
cut it up into 15 puzzle pieces. It was the biggest pain in the butt to do because it took me
all day to get all the stuff, figure out how to do what I wanted done, and then actually do
it. But when I finished I put the four corner pieces in a shadow box and mailed it to this
girl. I explained that the puzzle represented our relationship and that right then all we had
were a few pieces of the puzzle and that no matter what we thought the relationship might
turn into, we would never know until God had given us all the pieces of the puzzle. I had
this wonderful plan to give her one piece of the puzzle each time we went out on a date; it
was a long distance relationship so it would have taken a while. But I was going to keep
one piece of the puzzle as a reminder that no matter how complete the puzzle looks, you
never know how it will turn out until all of the pieces are in place. Obviously things
didn’t work out between us and the puzzle of our relationship turned out to be something
other than what we had hoped for. I think I still have like 9 of the pieces...
         That’s the way life is though. You never know exactly what you have until the
picture is complete, all efforts at second guessing are futile. Paul wrote about this very
thing in his first letter to the Corinthians.
       I Corinthians 13:12
               -”Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see
       face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully
       known.”

        We don’t have the master plan to the puzzle of our lives, God does. So just sit
back and watch Him work His magic by piecing your life together one piece at a time,
jewel by jewel, step by step, perfection at work. Learn to wait on God, stop worrying
about it. God has allowed circumstances in your life to place you where you are and in the
situations you’re in for a reason. God is in control and He will never lead you astray, just
make sure it’s His guidance you’re following and not your own wishes. Wait on Him to
direct you and while you’re waiting, let Him use you right where you are. He’ll give you
the pieces as you need them and as you are ready for them. Don’t get antsy, just sit back
and enjoy the blessings God has given you.

       Philippians 4:6-7
               -”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and
       petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of
       God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
       minds in Christ Jesus.”

								
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