There are so many days when I feel incomplete. Like I am missing a few pieces to my puzzle.
At times I think to myself, where did I put those pieces? I search busily for them. Other times, I think the missing pieces were not even in the box to begin with.
Still there are occasions where my selfishness, pride-fulness and impatient frustration cause me to throw my pieces. Then I bring upon myself the strife of more searching to find what I have thrown. Or worse yet, in a torrent storm of sinful emotion I burn my puzzle pieces leaving myself an aftermath of nothing but ashes.
I, I, I. Me, me, me. I can be so selfish, self centered and self focused. I get caught up in concentrating on what I do not have or what I have to do yet, that I miss out on a lot of the beauty that has already been placed in my life. Then I wonder why I feel like I am lacking.
“and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:10
Fullness in Christ. Oh, how many empty days have I longed for fullness. How many times I have tried to fill my emptiness with things, experiences or people.
I have turned to my husband, my knight in shining armor. I have thrust upon him fairy tale size expectations which cripple him instead of building him up. I have turned to worldly success, accolades which dull about as fast as the dust collects upon the shelf they sit on. I have turned to food. The nachos offered me understanding and comfort at first but quickly turned to an irritable guest upon my waistline that I struggle to get rid of.
There is only One who can fill this void without causing more damage and pain; in His awesome greatness, Christ will perfectly fill every hole and every missing piece.
“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Jesus is the perfect finisher. He does not leave things undone. He will see everything through to completion.
What joyous news that is for us! We need not worry about our puzzles. God will be sure to finish them. He is in control. We have to let Him work and to trust His timing.
It’s easy for me to try to give God my thoughts on how this puzzle should go together. I want to grab pieces from Him so that I can do it. I am stubborn and can put it together myself. If I did it then I could boast and show everyone proclaiming “look what I have done”.
But, I do not know what the final picture is supposed to look like. So even if I could get the pieces into my hands, I would not have a clue where to put them.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10
We are God’s workmanship. Your puzzle, my puzzle, they were uniquely designed by God’s hand.
God put time, energy and thought into you. He rolled up His sleeves. He wove you together. Each and every piece of your life is hand painted and shaped with God’s touch of perfection.
It is easy to get stuck looking at the hole a missing piece leaves, yet at the same time we could be neglecting the other pieces that are coming together and the wonderful vision that is taking shape.
Take a moment with me. Close your eyes. Open your heart. Look at the beauty of each puzzle piece that has been placed in your life already. Maybe it’s the magnificence of a talent that you have been given. Perhaps it’s the radiantly shining stars of people in your life who have lead you through bleak times. It could the gift that you gave freely to someone you knew would never be able to pay you back.
Some of your pieces may be dark and others may be brightly colored. That is not a bad thing. There is much splendor to be found within the contrast.
Each piece that you thought of, it is a piece in your puzzle. There is no other puzzle, no other life that it fits into the way it does in your own. It is part of what makes you who you are. It is part of what will complete you.
While studying the Bible to write this I found myself in the book of 1 John. In the New International Version I found four verses which contain the word complete.
“We write this to make our joy complete.” 1 John 1:4
“But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:5-6
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12
“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” 1 John 4:17
Completed with joy. Completed with confidence. Completed with LOVE. You are not some project on God’s to do list which He hastily wants to finish in a good enough fashion. You are a priceless masterpiece. You are a work of God’s hand that is cherished, precious, sweet and beloved.
As I write this, I am praying for you my dearest reader, I feel the emptiness of missing pieces. I ache to be able to have just the right thing to say to encourage you, to fill you up and help you press on. My words are a meager gesture from another incomplete person. If we are to be filled we must seek God and His abundance to complete us.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
Beloved and Cherished LORD,
Thank you so much for Your love. Thank you for the way it fills every void, every space and every crack in our lives. Your love is a gift like no other. May we be in awe of how freely you give it to us.
May we see great beauty in our puzzles as You place them together ever so perfectly. May you open the eyes of our hearts and reveal to us how vibrantly stunning our lives are.
May we have the wisdom to recognize others who are feeling incomplete and may we take the time to point them to You so they, too, may be made whole.
In Jesus’ name, amen.