Someone must really not like me. A few months ago, someone put out a
puzzle in the church, spread out all the pieces, and let it sit there
to torture me. And it’s a hard one, a city street scene with lots of
grays, a few flags, some horses and buggies. I am one of those people
that sees a puzzle and has a near uncontrollable need to work on it.
A few months have passed, and I’ve got all the tree pieces put
together. But the time sorting and fitting has got me thinking of all
the metaphors associated with the fascinating phenomenon of puzzles.
First we get the border done while we are flipping all the pieces over
so we can see what we’re working with. Then we separate based on
color or theme. From there, we try the pieces over and over based on
the lines, colors, and shapes of the cut. A good puzzle has lots of
variation, and takes a bit of time to complete. Then, finally, as we
put the last piece in, we stand back and look at the completion of the
image that looks just like the one on the box.
Jesus is like the picture on the box, and our church and community is
made up of people shaped pieces. Individually, we look nothing like
the whole holiness of God’s kingdom, even if we become as perfect as
we can be in being the color and shape that we are. God has a picture
worked out, and there is only one way we fit. We may try to force
ourselves to fit with people we don’t fit with, and we may want to be
a different part of the picture that is easier to put together or gets
more glory. We may try to avoid being linked with certain other
Paul may not have done puzzles, but perhaps they have become such a
popular past time because of how closely the process resembles the
deeper truths of life. In Romans 8: 28-29, Paul says, “And we know
that for those who love God all things work together for good, for
those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he
foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
It’s not that God didn’t give us free choice. He did. He also made us
to fit into a larger picture, that, when we choose to submit to his
image, becomes a clear picture that God is not only real, but is good,
perfect, and beautiful.
So my challenge to you is this. How are you fitting in your family?
How are you fitting in your church? How are you fitting in this
community? Or are you trying to be a puzzle unto yourself? You are
beautifully and wonderfully made, but you were also made with specific
purpose, specific calling, and toward a picture much larger than
See you at the watering hole. SG