This past weekend my family and I spent putting together a puzzle. I severely dislike putting together puzzles, but it was the only cheap, non-going outside, non-watching TV activity I could think of to do with my family. Where some people find them relaxing, I get aggravated to the point where ultimately I walk away from it and either leave it forever undone or for someone else to do. I get lost in all of the tiny pieces and have this (I know a bit dramatic) sense of despair that I will never get it all put together. I squirmed, found excuses to get up for something, sighed, and muttered throughout the whole process. I waited for my husband to decide he was done and would devise a clever plan to use boxing tape to stick together the rest of the pieces then call it done. My husband, though, was bent on finishing it. My son was working hard. It only left me to be a big girl about it and keep going to. I kept my whines to myself and about 8 hours work brought us to completion, my very first, finished, jigsaw puzzle.
As I was trying to entertain myself during those long, tediously boring hours, I was reminded of a time where I felt like my life was all in pieces. I remember wondering how in the world was I ever going to be put back together. I’m sure that all of us have been to that point at some time in our lives where we felt like we were just left with shattered pieces. Maybe some of you are out there now. It is a hard place to be, but there is hope. God desires us to be whole, and He doesn’t leave it all to us to get it all together. However, we do play a part in this.
- Don’t focus on all the pieces needing to be put together. Focus on what is immediately in front of you. Then, you won’t feel as overwhelmed.
- Don’t put a time frame on being this perfectly whole person. This will only lead to frustration and maybe even giving up because it isn’t happening fast enough.Understand this is a lifelong process Learn to walk in trust with God that you are healing and mending.
- Enjoy and be thankful for the people around you who are in this with you. Don’t toss out the companionship and wisdom that they share. God didn’t intend for us to walk this alone and places amongst fellow believers, be it friend and/or family to help us carry the burden. If you do not have such a community of believers, find one and get yourself plugged in.
- Ask God to give you a vision of the bigger picture. We are such finite beings and are limited in our view, but God sees everything and even sees us as the whole person He created us to be. This is accomplished through getting in the Bible daily and reading what He says about us and learning to hear His voice. When we do that, we can begin to hear personally what He says about us. It’s a powerfully motivating thing. He will do this for you if you ask.
I know that my earthly analogy can only go so far. Where its practicality ends, is where ultimately our faith picks up. We have to trust that He who began a good work in us will see it through completion. Like I said before, this is a lifelong process. Yes, I am nowhere the shattered woman that I once was, but there are still broken areas in my life. Once, recently, I was getting frustrated with myself over certain struggles that I still have. I asked God, “Why am I still broken?” He promptly replied, “yes, you’re broken, but it makes you keep coming to me with it.” We have to be okay with admitting our brokenness and handing those pieces over to God. We don’t have to pretend or put up a front to Him thinking that is the only way we will be acceptable in His eyes. What makes us acceptable in His eyes is how He sees us through Christ. Because of this, He already sees us a whole perfect creation who belongs to Him. He isn’t bound by time so He sees the completed work already. We are bound by time and so we find ourselves walking through the process. Therefore, it is of dire importance that we keep our eyes fixed on Him and make Him the bigger picture. As we keep looking at, reaching out, and handing over our brokenness to our loving father, we will eventually find that those pieces a work of art.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:10
“because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”~ Phillippians 5:5-6
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” ~Phillippians 2:12-13