Life is a/an ____________________! How would you fill in the blank? I often use the analogy of a puzzle when thinking about life. A many pieced puzzle, in a plastic bag –without the box top! Now, I don’t know about you, but trying to put a puzzle together without a picture to guide me is a difficult task–especially if it is a puzzle with 5000 pieces! I know—find the corner pieces, then the rest of the border and so on and so forth. What if all four corners are blue? Which is sky? Which one is water? Which might be a blue iris or a hyacinth? And then we have green. Which corner is grass? Which is a tree leaf? Oh, and there is always the wayward green, leafy bush!
I remember when I was still working in a school, and we had the same 5 piece puzzle that seems to reside in most K-3 classes. It was a bus puzzle. It had a body, a roof, a hood and two wheels. One of the wheels was perfectly round and would fit into the perfectly round opening any way you chose to place it. The other piece; however, had a flat side that fit up against the bus. Every year, as we greeted the incoming children I would say, “If you need help with your puzzle let me know!” I would then wait for what I knew would happen. The child with that particular puzzle would dump out the pieces. The body would go first, then the roof, then the hood and then the annoying wheels. The child could usually figure out where the perfectly round one went quite quickly. Trying to place the wheel with the flat side was—well, frustrating to say the least. The child usually removed the piece and tried again. They would begin to bang on the piece with their small hand—gently at first, but then forcefully. I would remind the child that I would be glad to help. Most of the time, I would get “the look,” and then the puzzle would be dumped out, pieces being placed, yet again, in the exact same order with the exact same outcome. By the third or fourth try, the teacher and I could see tears gathering in the child’s eyes. I would often go to the child’s chair, reach over and place my hands on top of his/her hands and turn the wheel so it would fit. I would then explain how that wheel was a bit tricky and had a flat place that went against the bus, but they could get it to work if they would remember what I had told them. It was always wonderful to see success happen when they listened to instruction.
Because God designed our puzzle, He knows exactly where each piece fits. He has given His Word to guide and direct us as we place our pieces each day. We may not always be quite sure of where the piece goes, but we do know the One who does!! If we will remember His instructions to us, we will not have to bang on our puzzle, jump on it or say ugly words to an individual piece. If it doesn’t fit it means we are trying to place it in the incorrect position, and no matter what we do—it is still not going to fit!
He is with you. He is with me. He wants us enjoy our puzzles and not be stressed and annoyed by them. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Can you hear Him reminding you He is there to help you (Isaiah 41:10)? Can you feel His hands helping you turn the piece you’re holding today? He has the box top! He knows every corner, every border and all the pieces in between. Let Him guide you in the way you should go!