Pieces of a life snuggle up tight. Some fit together properly and create something beautiful. Some pieces have gotten mixed up with a cramp of confusion, and I realize they were never intended to fit the picture God has for my life.
Misplaced pieces have been added from other puzzles.
Some pieces I put in my life from someone else’s puzzle, tattered bits and snagged parts that seemed like they should be part of my life.
Some I thought I needed; others, I merely thought would look good in the picture of who I want to be.
What happens when I snatch a piece from another puzzle, another life, and try to make it mine? Some pieces look like they will be a sure fit in a particular spot. The curves and smooth edges appear to fit with pieces already in place.
Truth is, I have to do a good deal of pushing and wiggling to try and force the misfit puzzle piece in place. Frustrated, I try another spot, “maybe this will fit better over there…” Again and again, I keep trying to make the pieces look like the picture in my head.
Sometimes I ache with the disjointed fragments pushed in place by others. Misplaced expectations added by others who thought they knew best what I should look like and with good intention, added parts of their puzzles to mine.
Somewhere I misplaced parts of myself, lost them along the way. Frittered away in days too busy, treasures dropped in distraction’s wake. Where did they go?
How do I get them back?
Hurry up and be done.
As I hastily try to finish the picture and push all the pieces in place, I sometimes put the right piece in the wrong place in my efforts to get through the work of increasing piece by piece, day by day.
Too often, unwilling to reflect on the Master’s design, I don’t notice that I have placed something in the wrong spot or that the fit is close, but not what was intended. In my self effort, I create a distorted version of what God’s design for my life was intended to be. My self effort creates confusion rather than receives grace.
The ache of empty places.
I feel the stress and the ache of the empty places where I know a piece should be, but I haven’t found the right piece yet. I feel the disjointed uneasiness when pieces of my life are in the wrong place. I long to know the beautiful picture my life was created to be.
God has the power and the desire to make all things new.
This is His promise and His purpose. He is making me a new creation, a new self. Spiritual growth comes as I surrender to Father’s loving hand as He places before me the picture of what His true design is for my life.
As He pulls out the pieces that have been forced into wrong places and gently fits them into their intended spot, the fit is perfect–joy comes and my spirit rests.
One by one, He repairs the pieces that have been bent or broken from the force of hands too insistent and forceful to make the picture look complete rather than fit properly.
He removes the pieces that never belonged in my life. As He takes something out that does not belong, I feel the discomfort of an empty space that must come in order to make room for what God desires to place there. I feel the impatience to hurry up and be “done.”
One by one, God lovingly places each piece to the puzzle of my character in its proper place. Day by day I see more clearly what my new creation looks like. I am learning to trust that God’s vision of my soul is far more beautiful and whole that anything I can impatiently “create.”
I am learning to cooperate and seek out His hand, rather than attempt to hide what does not belong. I see with increasing joy and clarity that my new creation is Christ in me—the hope of glory. Our God does, indeed, make all things new.
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, new things have come”. II Corinthians 5:17
Find the entire Soul Strength series here.