From a messy pile of pieces, a beautiful picture can emerge.
A valuable lesson to take into the new year came to me on a busy morning while clearing all the extra bits and pieces in a drawer of a desk that I had inherited. Even though I had cleaned the drawers before, somehow one little piece of something had managed to wedge itself in a corner.
It was a simple jigsaw puzzle piece, among all the usual pens and items found in any office drawer, but on this day the lone piece caught my attention.
“I found a puzzle piece,” I called out to the others in the office. “Now all we need is the other 999 pieces and we have a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle”. As others laughed, I continued, “But without the picture on the box, how will we know what it should look like?”
The piece was set aside while we continued with the clean-up, and was all but forgotten until I saw the partially completed puzzle on my coffee table.
Doing puzzles is a recent hobby and it has taught me a simple truth; that I have all the pieces I need to complete the puzzle, I just need to be patient and trust the creator of the puzzles.
There were times when I was convinced that I would never complete the monster and yet, as if by something beyond my understanding, those stubborn pieces would just incredibly come together.
I’ve learnt some amazing lessons from the humble jigsaw puzzle — the importance of each piece, the importance of patience and the importance of trusting the creator. And let’s not forget the importance of following the picture supplied as my guide.
Can you imagine even trying to complete a puzzle without the picture to guide you? We need that oh-so-important picture on the box. I know there are some jigsaw puzzles that don’t give you the picture, but that is another story and I do not want go there! Every piece is important. None are insignificant.
And then I realised that I had been holding the one missing piece for what seemed like an eternity. In reality, it was just a moment, a moment that caused me to reflect on my year and the changes that so many others had experienced.
In that moment I considered the times that I had been fearful, stressed and troubled and yet the peace of God, which is beyond all human understanding, was available to me.
The puzzle piece was a gentle reminder that God has given me all that I need. No matter how messy the initial pile of all the pieces appears, with patience and perseverance the puzzle, and our life, will come together.
God revealed to me yet again the importance of me trusting him, being patient, and persevering through difficulty, remembering that he gives peace beyond human understanding and asks us to give our concerns to him instead of being anxious.
As I journey through 2020, putting into action the truths of the Bible, I am confident that the peace of God will continue to uphold and strengthen me.
Angela Eyles is a Salvation Army officer in Melbourne, serving as a resource writer.