Jigsaw puzzles have been popular for generations. History tells us Spilsbury, a London engraver and mapmaker put together the first "jigsaw puzzle" and a great new teaching-tool was birthed. He attached a map of the world to a piece of wood and then cut out each country. Teachers used this (and many other such puzzles) to teach geography. This led to many variations of puzzles as we know them today.
I often think of our lives as being like a jigsaw puzzle. Each person's life is make up of many different pieces. Only when we are perfectly fitted together (part by part) are we the complete person God meant for us to be. So often, we sell ourselves short of our potential. We develop the "I don't want to" or "I like it just the way it is" attitudes - and come up short of the standards God has set for us. But for those who carefully fit the pieces of their life's puzzle together, they can see even at a young age, the great possibilities that lie out ahead of them.
We are reminded of new puzzles being scattered on life's table each year when our high school seniors share 'what they would like to become'. When we hear some of their dreams, we wonder if they can really put the puzzle together in order to paint that special portrait.A friend's son has long dreamed of becoming a pharmacist. As he began putting the 'puzzle' together, the young man gathered all sorts of information, schools that offered this curriculum, and then searched out for scholarships available and such. As time passed, one could see the pieces all falling together. He received a 4-year full scholarship and is seeing the puzzle being completed piece by piece.
For each of us, God gifts us with the necessary tools/pieces to live a happy and fulfilled life. When the Holy Spirit of God endwells us, we are 'gifted' with special graces from God to help complete our puzzle. (1 Cor 12). This is part of His eternal plan for each of us. (Jesus taught: I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly! (John 10:10). As we examine the puzzle pieces we have in our hands, we must carefully place them on life's board so each piece fits in perfect union with the others. Jesus and Paul both taught that this is the way the church is edified, by wisely using the spiritual gifts of the congregation.
God's Word gives many helps to aid us in putting our puzzle together. Jesus' message - Sermon on the Mount, His parables and miracles, and his promises of Eternal Life all are pieces we must hold dear and never let them be 'misplayed'. Paul's "one another" truths have always guaranteed a perfect fit when dealing with our brethren. The Great Commission and Great Commandments provide vivid "color" to each puzzle; Proverbs has many hidden pieces of life's puzzle that can give wisdom as we continue the search for a completeness of life.
How long has it been since you were challenged to work a jigsaw puzzle? Have you discovered "free jigsaw puzzles.com" on your computer? What a great exercise of the mind and visual comprehension! Puzzles remind us to get our lives in perfect order. We must make sound, God-directed decisions about the circumstances, choices and relationships along our journey. Don't get to the end of the puzzle and find that "one piece is missing"; it might be too late to search for it then. Consider examining and making sure this important piece of life's puzzle is included: John 3: 16.