“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” Hosea 6:1
One of the best gifts I remember receiving for Christmas in my early days was a brand-new, fresh out of the box, Rubik’s Cube. Oh man, how fun this thing was and yet, how frustrating. Out of the box it was perfect, all the colors lined up in their assigned, intentional, made-for-them, places. I didn’t want to touch it. How would I possibly get it back to this state if I did? I just held it for what seemed the entire day. But eventually though, I did set it down. Boy, was that a mistake! My older brothers were adamant about getting their hands on that cube and conquering it! To do so however, meant they were going to have to spin that thing in all sorts of directions — it was in disorder. Every ten minutes or so, my brothers would announce, “I did it!” or “I got 3 sides!” So aggravating! My little brother had a plan though. Not only a plan, he orchestrated a solution! Suddenly, he was no where to be found. Ten or so minutes went by and no one could find him. You see, he went off to a quiet place to concentrate. To focus on what would be necessary to solve this puzzle — and not in front of the ones who thought they knew all the answers. It was a quest he had embarked upon that reflects the journey many of us face in life.
With every twist and turn it seems like our life becomes more and more filled with disorder. The solution? Good question! We take our shots at solving it and may in fact land a side or two that appears to be perfect. Taking a closer look though, so much of it is in disarray.
Jigsaw puzzles are much the same. Those geared for the younger children have these big-ole pieces and few to assemble. Their minds need simplicity, with a slight challenge. And, much like their own lives — simple and dependent — it’s easy for them to put their pieces together, even when they get scrambled.
As we age and our experiences in life grow more complex, destructive and challenging, the pieces in the box get smaller and their numbers increase significantly — and the picture of me is pretty intricate! It’s, of course, an image of myself I’ve created! How do I put this puzzle of life together?
My little brother had a solution with the Rubik’s Cube! He sequestered himself and met the challenge. Attempting to solve it by taking a few twists and turns, he learned quickly he was getting himself farther and farther from solving it. So, he solved as much as he could, one side, two sides and parts of three. Then, he carefully did what all of us do. Instead of working on knowing the Truth, we take short cuts that temporarily “solve” the problem. You see, my brother carefully removed the stickers and reapplied them to make it appear the Rubik’s had been solved. And then, just like all of us who struggle in pride and ego, like my brother, announce to the world in our own special way, “I did it!” — knowing inside that what you see is not the Truth.
It’s not a question of how many pieces make up the puzzle of our lives. It doesn’t really matter how many pieces. The image on the puzzle is very simple too – it’s you right? John 15:5 says that we will bear the fruit of the vine of the One who lives inside us! If that’s true, and I believe it is, then the picture on the front of your puzzle isn’t an image of you and your past — it’s the picture of Christ who IS your life! When we are able to see this in ourselves, the puzzle starts to fit together, albeit not overnight, but one piece at a time! Not because of anything we did, but because of everything He did!
Christ is the solution to life’s jigsaw and the picture on the box is like nothing you’ve ever seen!
by: Mark Cruver