It’s an early Monday morning here in Finland, just about 5:30 a.m. I’m up after just 3 hours sleep, unable to completely shut off my mind’s excitement about the things that God is doing. About 12 hours ago, just across from where I’m sitting in our cozy living room, I watched a man be reborn of the Spirit after many years away from God. It was not the first time I have witnessed God change a life, but his experience was probably one of the most impacting ones that I have ever beheld. There is simply nothing quite like having someone spiritually reborn in one’s own home – – the presence of God never really leaves. It just lingers, continuing to cause a feeling of awe even hours later.
I would love to be at rest in bed right now. But, it seemed that God wanted me to get up and ruminate on yesterday’s experience for a bit. It’s all about finding the missing piece to a puzzle.
Puzzles are peculiar things. You either love, or hate, them. They require time, effort, concentration, and focus, and many people won’t even begin to attempt putting one together. Who has the time? I’m convinced that an avid puzzler doesn’t just randomly choose to attempt fitting pieces together. I’m an amateur at ‘puzzling,’ yet I know that if one separates the different types of pieces, then breaks them into color groups, the matching – and puzzle completion – goes much faster! And, no matter how long or short the full creation time might be, there is one thing that is certain: one must have all of the pieces. To sit for hours creating a masterpiece, only to discover that one piece is missing, is such a huge disappointment. I’ve had it happen, sat in utter amazement for a short period of time, then promptly threw the entire puzzle in the trash. Why? Because what good is one without the missing piece, if the picture will never be whole?
Compare your life to a puzzle. You may choose to be of the childlike variety, just 25 pieces. Or, maybe you want to be more of a challenge – let’s try 100. 500? 1000! Whatever the degree of difficulty, you still want all of the pieces present. Unfortunately, many of us choose to live our ‘puzzle lives’ without the most important piece.
When we decide to leave God out of the picture, we create a hole in our lives that sometimes isn’t discovered for many years. We think that all of the pieces are present. We have our act together! We’re sorting out our lives on a daily basis, categorizing the different parts and fitting them together, and seemingly doing a pretty good job of it, too. There’s just one problem: I don’t know about you, but there have been many times that I’ve asked someone for help when completing a puzzle.
Why is it that we think we can live life without God? Better yet, why would we want to live without Him? Without His help? Two are better than one, and while your ‘two’ might include a human, my immediate second is God Almighty. While Mark is my husband, best friend, and right-hand man, there are some things that try as he may, he just can’t fix them. When it comes down to heart-things that matter for eternity, other than prayer, he can’t even begin to lend a hand. Friends are great, but God is much better.
Jesus wants to be that missing puzzle piece – the One that walks with us every day, directs our path so that we don’t stumble, and is our 24/7 cheerleader. He longs to be the One to hold you when you cry, replacing pain and sorrow with peace and joy. He wants to fill all of the missing places in your life – the ones that feel like never-ending sinkholes no matter what you might use to try to fix them. And, Jesus wants to teach you to love others, to show you how to reach them, to teach them to love Him, too.
The woman at the well found the missing piece – John 4:1-26
The woman caught in the act of adultery found the missing piece – John 8:3-11
The man possessed of many demons found the missing piece – Luke 8:27-36
There are more examples just like those. What I’m trying to say is this. If your life is empty – if there is a piece missing somewhere – let Jesus fill it. Mind you, serving God doesn’t mean there will never be hard times. Oh, friend, I could share some stories! But, when one lives a life completely submitted to Christ, there is a peace, passing all understanding, that accompanies them. I can truthfully say that I have that peace, and nothing in the world exists as an equal trade.
I plan to see many more people sit in our living room and experience a life-altering change under the awesome power of God Almighty. The peace that passes all understanding… born out of a Spirit that is captivating, beautiful, and not of this world… the supernatural, all-encompassing, life-changing Puzzle Piece.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.“ (Joh 16:33)