puzzling in 2018

As soon as the Christmas decorations go down the table goes up. There I pour out 1000 pieces of the first puzzle of the winter and the sorting begins. After the edge pieces create a frame, I look at the design wondering where to start. A quick glance shows the colors of the various parts too close to distinguish but we dive in seeking the easiest place to begin.

As I continued working last night, I began to see a connection between life and our puzzle. To begin with God sees the whole picture and how every piece fits together. Like looking at the picture on the box I can study the Bible to find some end results like me worshiping Him in heaven forever. However, the pieces between this moment and eternity are like an unfinished puzzle.

As I look back over 2017, I see both highs and lows. Some of those puzzle pieces I already see in place and know how God is using them in my life but other pieces are still disconnected for me. More than once in 2017 I asked God why certain things happened and though I still can’t see how they fit God is slowly building my faith. He is teaching me to trust Him to make good use of every piece of the puzzle of my life (Romans 8:28).

As I continue putting in time, I slowly begin to distinguish the different shades of green to sort and put together. I love when several pieces fall into place to complete a section but then I must look to another unfinished area. Life is much the same way. As 2017 ends, another section of my life closes and I look to a new year that will bring great joy and moments of deep sorrow. Yet with each year that passes I become more aware of the greatness and goodness of God. I need not fret over the pieces I can’t see fitting for I know he has a purpose. When I can’t make sense of life, I can know God sees the plan and will help guide me.

Some evenings I sit at the puzzle and place piece after piece. Some evenings I struggle to find just one. Over and over in 2017 God sent that one piece to me at just the right time- an encouraging word from a friend, a certain Bible verse, a message in a sermon or podcast, a testimony or devotion speaking directly to my heart. Sometimes finding that one piece, finding that one moment of encouragement, means more than completing an entire section. God has done that for me in 2017 and I look forward with great expectation to seeing how He will work in 2018!

Lord, the blessings over the past year have been many! Thank you for pouring your love, grace and mercy over me. As 2018 begins, I thank you ahead of time for your hand at work in my life and in my family. God, may my life bring you glory and bless your name in 2018. May I learn to worship you more extravagantly and follow you more wholeheartedly. May I be better wife, mother, teacher, and friend so others see you in me. Amen

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