Looking at my life as a puzzle, it easily has 5,000+ pieces. It’s also not one of those nice easy puzzles where all the edges are straight. It’s a puzzle where some of the edges are slanted, some are rounded and some are jagged. Then you get to the insides and some of the pieces just seem like they don’t make much sense in this puzzle.
I know that everything happens for a reason but I’m one of those people who needs to know why things happen. Why did I go through a phase where I was defiant, why did I go through a phase where I was shaken in my faith, why did I go through a failed engagement, why did I think it was OK to move to Brookings, why did I end up being a victim of the hands of a monster? The list of questions could go on and on.
Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the why’s and the business going on in our lives that we fail to see God’s plan. We get stuck on the “Why me?” and we begin to self loathe, we begin to look for comfort in our friends or family, and we tend to forget who we really need to turn to for comfort. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.”
The frustrating “Why me?”‘s get in the way of the “Why me?”‘s that we should be paying attention to. Why did He choose me to fall in love with this wonderful man? Why did He choose me to have such a large heart for people that it often gets in the way? Why did He choose me to become a part of His family?
All of these little pieces – the good, the oddly shaped, and the bad – start to come together to form this beautiful picture; life. From our place here on Earth, all we see are the pieces coming together every now and then. We only see what’s being done in the moment rather than all that has taken place up until this point. But, if we remove ourselves from the current time and place, we can look down upon the table where our puzzle lays. From that view, we can see how all of the tiny little pieces all fit together to form this beautiful picture.
I wish I could say that our life puzzles are ones that are consistently a work in progress. However, often times, we run into temptation. Temptation to idolize things such as material items and money are the best examples I can think of. We tend to get in the mind set that money can buy us happiness; clothes, shoes, candy, crafts; all things that make us feel good. Each time that we tend to spend money on something other than our necessities, we are giving into the temptation of buying things that we don’t need. Giving into those temptations is allowing Satan to remove tiny pieces of our puzzle.
Since Shane and I have been married, we put together a financial plan. We figured out where every single penny was going to go. Before, it seemed like we were never ahead, always living paycheck to paycheck. When in reality, it was our “small spending” that was getting us in trouble. A pop here, a candy bar there, a slice of pizza there. It all added up. We got so wrapped up in the “feel good” of that moment that we couldn’t see how detrimental to our finances it was becoming.
That can also be said for our faith life. How many times have we felt temptation to not pray or read the Bible because we “don’t have time”, and gave in? I’m guilty. I always feel like we are doing something; fixing on the house, running errands, working on this project or finishing up that project. We get so wrapped up in those things that all of a sudden, the day is shot and it’s hurry up and get to bed so we can be up on time for work. We put off reading the Bible together or saying a prayer thanking Him for what we do have.
We fail to realize that while staying busy, spending the money and distracting ourselves from every day life, we are only getting a temporary “feel good” moment. However, if we were to spend a few more minutes per day praying or dedicating our lives to Him, our “feel good” moment would last much longer.
It’s sort of like this blog, while I spend an average of an hour or two comprising the body, I spend roughly a half hour of that time in prayer. I pray that He keeps me humble and to take a selfless approach. These posts are not about me, they are about Him. While I do insert my feelings and my experiences, it is to give an outside person a look into why I stand strong in my faith.
It’s because all of those small little pieces have fallen in line at the right time. Yes, there are times where pieces get taken from my puzzle. I’m human – I sin. But it is because I have my faith that I know He will forgive my sins. He will take back those pieces from Satan and put them back where they need to be.
It is not our say as to when our puzzle is complete. Only He knows when it will be finished. But by the time it is finished, we will be at a place where we are able to look down on that table and see a complicated but beautiful complete puzzle.