I don’t actually like puzzles

I don’t actually like puzzles. But sometimes I forget that because they look interesting. So I get one again.

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…Then I curse the process.

Can’t stop going back to figure it out.

Feel angry when I can’t make it work.

It’s taking too long.

It’s all I can think about.

I’m obsessing over it.

Wrestling with it.

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Then I thought it’s kind of like how we do life.

We argue with God a lot and probably don’t even realize how much we do it.

Sometimes we sound like kids just complaining.

But Lord, the pieces don’t fit.”

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The colors are all blending together.”

There aren’t enough pieces!”

There are too many!”

I can’t figure it out.”

I can’t tell what goes where.”

But that piece looks like it almost fits.”

I’ll just MAKE this piece fit there.”

I know what I’m doing.”

I don’t need anyone’s help.”

I want to do it my way.”

It’s taking too long.”

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Finally…. we get to:

This… isn’t working.”

I think maybe I need to ask for help.”

But if I’m too close I can’t see the big picture.

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If I look carefully I can see there are slight variations in the shades.

Sometimes I try to decide where something goes before seeing the other side.

If I wait a while it will reveal itself. Be still. Psalm 46:10 

And sometimes I can find where something fits just because I “know” because there are some pieces that fit so effortlessly that even if they’re upside down I don’t have to even turn them over to know that’s where they go.

And I’ve learned things are most frustrating when I’ve been trying to take control of something.  My way. My time… but control is NOT to be our God.

Sometimes I need to take a step back and take a breath.

Then I can see better with new eyes.

Life tries to rush us.

But love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Sometimes the only thing I CAN do –

The only thing I actually NEED to do –

is to focus on the ONE PIECE in front of me right now.

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Please hear me. And I know this sounds crazy because it goes against our race through the gotta-get-as-much-stuff-done-today-as-possible-or-else-and-no-time-to-think-packed-days culture – but

–  y o u    h a v e    p e r m i s s i o n  

 

       t o      b    r    e    a    t    h    e   .

 

 

Give it ALL (good and bad) to Him in prayer

and in return

HE

WILL

give

you

rest.

Matthew 11:28

 

If ALL you can do today is see the one piece and pray and praise for the day you are doing enough.

While we are trying to understand, we praise Him; we worship Him instead of worshiping the picture perfect life we’re trying to design.

That’s when you find all the pieces are there. Everything you need is there – in Him.

The Creator is so wise and He’ll reveal everything you’ll need to finish what He started in you.

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Everybody is kind of broken.

Some people want you to believe that they are totally okay; that they have it all together.

They don’t.

Being broken isn’t a bad thing. God says He can use you when you’re broken.

EVERYBODY is broken in some way. God is the ONLY One who can repair the brokenness.

It would take a long time to understand why people react to stuff in life the way they do since each of us is broken in a different way.

Think about it.  If we were whole, with nothing at all ever wrong in our lives, we could always 100% of the time react in a healthy way.  But we’re just not always okay.  And so stress (even good stress) can affect our responses (even when we don’t really want it to.)

If you take time to look around you’ll see some of what it may look like in everyday life and a way you can help because you CAN help (whether you realize it or not.)

You can have a plan already in mind to be kind ~ ANYWAY.  Watch for moments because they’re sure to show themselves.

When your boss is moody – show a little more kindness and enthusiasm at work.

When your teacher is upset – turn in your assignment early if possible.

If mom is feeling overwhelmed – do a job or 2 that she didn’t even ask you to do.

If dad seems angry – take a few minutes to remind him how much you appreciate him.

When a student comes to school late or is disrupting class – use gentle, encouraging words (as she may not have heard any recently.)

If the checkout guy is slower than you’d like remember it may his first job (just like once upon a time it was your first job) – be more understanding and speak softer.

When your wife meets you with an icy look – be a little more gentle and help melt it.

When your husband grumbles – make him a snack and remind him of a specific thing you admire about him.

If your employee is having an off day – tell him you’re glad he’s there and he’s valuable (which may be perfect words to lift his energy.)

Even though God is the only One who can do the repairs, WE can STILL be people who help (INSTEAD of rolling eyes, stomping off, making a smartalecky comment, or all the other ways that are NOT helpful…)

Just because someone’s outsides look okay doesn’t mean the insides are okay.

If we’d quit trying to hide all the broken pieces, we’d begin to heal a lot quicker.  Jesus is The Answer. And everybody needs more kindness and love.