One of the things we did as a family when I was growing up was work on jigsaw puzzles. It would take weeks. The first step was always laying out all the pieces and turning them right-side up. The next step involved putting all the edge pieces together. Then, we would look for large sections of the puzzle that had the same color pattern. We would work together, and slowly but surely, the final image would begin to emerge. One of the great things about working together on a puzzle was that we all saw different things along the way. Each person helped fill in missing sections that the rest of us hadn’t been able to figure out. It took all of us, and if we had missed any single piece, it mattered to the outcome—the picture would be incomplete.
I don’t know about you, but at times, my life reminds me of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. I work hard to put all the pieces together – kids, marriage, work, friends, family, church, and ministry – but it can all become a bit overwhelming. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way.
We all work hard to lay out the many pieces of our lives so they will ultimately form a cohesive picture. We try to get a framework of what life is to look like, then we start putting everything together. But then something inevitably happens that causes a piece to be misplaced, or keeps us from clearly seeing the big picture. It is at these times that we need others to help us see the pieces we are missing, to see the picture from a different angle, or to connect pieces of life that we had not yet realized fit together.
Life is not intended to be spent alone. God created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. This is why, as a church, we want everyone to be part of an intentional small group. This is why we structure the leadership of the church in teams. We need each other. Every piece matters, and we are better when we work together. We need our spouses, partners, children, friends, neighbors, small group members, and colleagues to help pick up the pieces, and to better see God’s vision for our lives.
I am grateful for my wife, Allison, the Faith staff, my friends, my extended family, and my colleagues who have always been there to help pick up the pieces, who have seen things I could not see, and who stepped in to help connect parts of the big picture for me. They have all gathered around the table with me and helped put together the pieces of a beautiful life.
Who are you grateful for this week?
How might God be calling you to help with someone else’s puzzle?
I look forward to seeing you in worship!