By Mendi Behnen

I recently worked my obligatory “quarantine” jigsaw puzzle.  It was an amazing scene from the Grand Canyon and I was looking forward to watching it come together as I pulled out the pieces, searching for all of the ones that would form the border. However, they were the strangest pieces I had ever seen; not the standard interlocking pieces I am used to. It was hard to tell which pieces were borders and which ones had the slightest curve to the straight edge so they were not actually a piece of the border. Then there were pieces in the border (and throughout the puzzle) that did not interlock which made it really difficult to make them stay in place until there were enough pieces around it to hold it where it belonged.

As I worked on the puzzle, I would look at an opening and go searching for what I thought would fit in that space. Surely I needed a piece with an interlocking tab on one side and an interlocking notch to the right of that. I would search and search for piece shaped like I thought it should be shaped with the right variations of color to fit in the space. After time, I would find that the piece was half the size I was looking for and only had the notch; the tab was a separate piece. Then again there were other spaces where the fitting piece looked more like the size and shape of two pieces put together.

Needless to say, the puzzle did not come together as I was expecting when I opened the box. As I was feeling some frustration that these pieces didn’t look like what I was used to and they weren’t fitting like I had expected, I thought about how this is so much like my life right now. Especially right now. I have a plan of how things should fit together, but with our COVID 19 landscape nothing is quite fitting together the way I am used to. It leaves me wondering if the piece for which I am searching is really the piece I need next …or if it really looks quite different than what I imagined.

One thing this puzzle has taught me is to let the pieces come together as they were designed rather than as I expect them to fit …because when you do that, it will make one beautiful picture in the end. When completed the puzzle looked just like the picture on the box – as beautiful as the Grand Canyon itself. You do consult the box lid to help you envision the end result when you work a jigsaw puzzle, don’t you?

So, when your struggling with what the next piece in life should look like, how do you find the box? I recommend consulting the One who knows what the end result should look like, your Creator, God Himself.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you serve for Me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB

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