My Momma is the puzzle queen. She works jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles and word search puzzles. Over the years, she has worked puzzle after puzzle after puzzle. When she finishes one, she begins another. There is always a puzzle in the works at Momma’s house. At 85 years old, even when her memory was challenged last year because of electrolyte imbalances, she could still work these puzzles. I know this is a God thing. Her mind is sharp for puzzles.
Momma works all sizes of puzzles. 500-piece puzzles are so easy for her, she can do them in her sleep. She is good at this. Mostly, she likes the 1000-piece puzzles. Last year she worked a 2000-piece puzzle which she says she would not do again because it took so much space and so much time. It was so large we had to complete it on the dining room table. She worked the puzzle, I worked the puzzle, my brother worked the puzzle and my cousin worked the puzzle. Everyone that came to the house tried to find a piece for that puzzle. After all that work, when completed, my brother had it framed and it is in a place of honor on the wall. Have I said it before, she is good?
When I make my weekly pilgrimages to her house, we usually end the visit in the room I have named the puzzle room to work the current puzzle. When we first open the box, we find many pieces of various shapes and colors. It looks a mess. Then we start, each with our own method. I work from the picture on the box. I look at the box and select the pieces that have characteristic identifiers like faces or words. Then I place them in the area where they should go. She has been working them for years and has her own distinct way of completing them. She is an expert at it. She begins with the border or perimeter pieces. Those are the easy ones because they all have a flat edge. Then she gathers pieces that have similar color, background or hue. She is really good. Sometimes, it may look as if a piece may fit, but it does not. The color may be similar but it still is not the right piece. You can force it into place but in the end, it is not the correct one. There is another place for it. We have different approaches but we still arrive at the same result, piece by piece, if we do not stop.
Life consists of many puzzles and at each stage, we finish one puzzle and begin another. God, the great puzzle maker, has assembled all the pieces and people of life together to make a great big picture. He knows and sees the finished product. We only see the pieces. Before Christ, we were a pile of pieces, a hot mess. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become a part of an elite group of pieces called the body of Christ. This group is made of many pieces and people all with the common goals of leading the lost to Christ and making disciples. We are all interconnected and interwoven. Having a special fit one to another, we need each other.
God has designed each of us differently. We have different methods that get us from one life’s journey to another. You are assigned to a particular place at a particular time to influence or be influenced by particular people. Sometimes the stages of life are easy like a 500-piece puzzle and you breeze through it. Other times they are like the difficult 2000-piece puzzle and takes up a lot of space and a lot of time. Nevertheless, they are all put together one piece at a time one life step at a time and finally on to the next phase, if you do not give up. No longer are we the pile of pieces just thrown together, we are complete. We are His workmanship, His handiwork. Have confidence that you are valuable to God, you are worthy to be a masterpiece.
Harriet Noel Jones