Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
One thing that has frustrated me is the jigsaw puzzle. I find them hard to start and I usually give up. But my wife is very good at them and likes doing them.
I think they are very popular and a good way of relaxing and having some fun time with the kids or rest of the family. But there are so many pieces, and I wonder where to start. Maybe you love jigsaw puzzles – that’s great. But to make a jigsaw puzzle work you have to include all the pieces. If the box is made up of 1,000 pieces, it’s no good only having 996. That will not make up the full puzzle. In many ways, life is like a jigsaw puzzle.
In many ways, life is like in the poem Life Is A Jigsaw Puzzle:
Life is a jigsaw puzzle
It’s not always fun and games
Life is what you make of it
And nothing ever remains the same
Life can test your courage
It can test your inner strength to endure
It can test your mental psyche
Life is a challenge for sure
Life is an exciting adventure
it can be a bumpy and rocky ride
But life is what you make of it
You don’t need a “how to” guide
Life has many dimensions
Too enormous to even count
But life should always have a purpose
Void of any amount
Life can be enlightening
Indeed it can be challenging, too
It can be a roaring opportunity
But that depends on you
But never throw in the towel
Because things don’t go your way
Just ride the tides of patience
And keep focused on your dreams each and every day
(Juanita Bratcher, 1998)
The Broken Pieces Of Life
In thinking a bit more about this, I think many of us would say there have been moments in our life when pieces of our life were missing. We feel incomplete—something is not quite right, and we wonder why there are missing pieces in our lives. I think Christian author Eugene O’Neill puts it very well when he wrote, “Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is the glue”. And I agree with that thought. In our quiet reflective moments we think, What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel satisfied and contented? What have I missed out on in my life? It’s like a restlessness inside that won’t go away. It takes some courage to think along these lines, and can be uncomfortable.
“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is the glue”. Eugene O’Neill
In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, there is a moment when Elizabeth Bennet is confronted by Charles D’Arcy, who she treats with disdain. She doesn’t like him but he has some confronting things to say to her. She says in one scene, “How despicably have I acted. I feel totally humiliated. Vanity, not love, has been my folly. Until this moment I never knew myself”. Her life was like a broken jigsaw puzzle.
I get the impression the Apostle Paul from the New Testament felt his life was broken. It took a dramatic meeting with Jesus Christ on the Damascus road to make him realise his life was in a mess. He’d been trained in a religious life and had a strict upbringing. He was from the nation of Israel, and the tribe of Benjamin, a true Hebrew, and a strict Pharisee. He was so eager he even persecuted the Christian church. He was a fanatic.
But listen to what he said in Philippians:
“But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ. Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-9).
His life has turned upside down after he met Jesus. The missing pieces were found. And so it is today. When you discover Jesus life is complete, and all the pieces fit together.
(To be continued in Life is Like a Jigsaw Puzzle – Part 2)