“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.9
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I went through three children before I got one who echoed my passion for puzzles. Working a puzzle is one of my favorite ways to spend an hour...or two...or three and has been since I was a small child.
There's something satisfying about watching something get created from nothing.
There's something gratifying about seeing the pieces fit together.
There's something delightful about witnessing a complete picture appear.
At 5, Carynne can match me piece for piece, hour for hour, puzzle for puzzle. Working puzzles is one way we connect and intertwine our hearts. I nearly always enjoy these times with her but occasionally she returns with this puzzle:
I don't care for this one. Its pieces don't stay together. Its free form lines make it difficult to follow. Its edges rise up when I want them to stay down.
I sometimes wish my life were as nice and tidy as working a puzzle. I'd like to just snap all the pieces together and have beauty come forth. I'd like to transform the table of my heart in an afternoon.
The jigsaw of my life is somewhat more complicated because I have...
Isn't it disappointing when you get to the end of the puzzle and discover you have missing pieces? Even if 999 are present that single absent piece detracts. It draws my attention and focus. It distracts me from what I have accomplished and focuses my mind on what I lack.
I see my missing pieces - my inadequacies, my faults and failures. When my heart's eye centers on my lack, I become inward focused. Instead I need an upward focus. The object of my mind and heart should be God. He fills in my missing pieces.
Some puzzles are cut with a lack of precision. The edges are haphazard and keep disconnecting from their neighbor. My rough edges have the same impact.
I can be short-tempered, impatient and lack compassion. These qualities break my connection with others. I need God's love to flood my heart. His has master precision. He knows exactly what pieces of my soul need a trim.
An Incomplete Picture
Have you ever tried to work a puzzle without the box top picture? This is measurably more challenging than having a guide. I have an incomplete picture of my life and my future.
God holds the box top. He's sees what I cannot see. I need His corrective lenses to mold and shape my heart.
God is the only One who can create something from nothing.
He is the only One who can fit the pieces of my life together.
He's the only One with a complete picture.
When I find my life puzzling, I need to spend less time thinking and more time praying.
When I find my heart in pieces, I need to hide my heart in His and wait for Him to complete the picture.
His thoughts aren't mine but they are the answer to all life's puzzles.