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At two years old, I loved putting together picture puzzles. If only the puzzles of life would fit together so easily.
At first, the puzzles were simple.
I quickly learned about color and shape. Pieces with a straight side belonged along the edge. With adjacent straight sides, the piece went on a corner. Light blue and white made up the sky, and other colors formed the landscape. An interlocking edge on one piece wouldn’t fit unless the shape precisely complemented another piece.
What looked right often turned out to be wrong.
The color and shape looked right—until I tried to put the piece in place. I set that piece aside and kept looking. I tried another piece, then another, until eventually I found the right one.
The picture came together one piece at a time.
As the picture size and number of pieces increased, so did my need for patience. I was looking for one piece out of thousands. Sorting all the pieces by style and color helped, but searching still took a long time. The hardest part was not knowing how many failed attempts would pass before I found the right one.
Why was I willing to endure such frustration?
Each piece found was an achievement worthy of celebration. The more difficult the search, the greater the meaning when I said, “I found it!” I knew the time would come when the assembled picture would match the small image on the box.
I wasn’t always successful.
A piece could fall off the table and be lost. A piece could be missing from the manufacturer. Some pieces could be missing while pieces from some other puzzle were included. Although I’ve experienced those scenarios, I still love putting puzzles together. Why? I do it for the times when no piece will be missing, and I can enjoy the beauty of my effort.
Before God started to create pieces, he had the complete picture in mind.
Contrary to his desire, many pieces don’t want to fit, but he will find every piece that does. In the end, when all the pieces come together, he’ll enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful picture of his greatness and glory, in which I am one essential part.
All of you together make up the body of Christ, each of you being a unique, essential part. — 1 Corinthians 12:27