Jigsaw Puzzles

Silence. Sometimes, it’s a peaceful escape; and other times, it’s a terrifying void.

For someone like me, who analyses every aspect of life in the most abstract of ways, silence is a rarity.

My mind is often occupied with so many thoughts and possibilities that I don’t always stop to think before I speak or act. Silence is a good way of allowing me to organize all of the craziness going on in my mind. It’s a way of allowing God’s will to rule my thoughts instead of my own will.

Last week, I was given the opportunity to spend an evening in silence. I was very glad to have this opportunity because I had spent most of the month living minute by minute with my job and school. I needed a break from all of the noise of my everyday life.

During this evening of silence, God spoke to me in a very meaningful way:

I was sitting in the church staring down at the book in my hands. The cover on my book was a jigsaw puzzle.

Now, I know that putting together a jigsaw puzzle is not the most exciting of pastimes; and it can become quite tedious to put a puzzle together, especially if you lack patience. However, as I stared down at the cover on my little book, my life seemed to make more sense than before.

When you build a jigsaw puzzle, you put all of the pieces on a large table, you sort them out, and you study the box to see what you are making. Life can be very similar to this experience. God gives us the pieces to our puzzle and tells us to put them together. The only difference is that He doesn’t give us the box, so we have no idea what the end result is going to be.

I like to be in control of my life, so not knowing what the puzzle is going to look like is a big problem for me. I constantly have to humble myself and let God lead me in order to not let the frustration of the unknown take over.

As the evening continued, I kept thinking about my life’s puzzle. I realized that I was at a point in my life where I was trying to fit a piece where it did not belong. I’m sure that most of you have experienced that point in puzzle building where you have a piece that just doesn’t fit where you want it to…but you try to jam it into place anyway.

My stubbornness often gets the best of me, so I was determined to make the piece of my puzzle fit where I wanted it to fit. I spent a very long time trying to fit that piece into a certain place without any success. I kept hearing that I had to let go and move on…but I’m the kind of person who has a hard time letting go.

I was still thinking about that piece that just wouldn’t fit, as I was getting ready for bed. In those moments before sleep came, God finally made everything clear…

That puzzle piece doesn’t fit where I want it to fit, but that doesn’t mean I have to let go of it. God put that piece in my puzzle, so it fits into my life somehow. I just have to set that piece aside for now so that I can focus on building the other parts of my puzzle. When God is ready for me to know where that piece fits, He’ll let me know.

“You can force the piece to fit, but the puzzle is not the same.” -Echo off the Sky by Poema


Originally Written and Posted: November 2, 2010 at 1:13pm