Have you ever watched a child try to do a puzzle without help?
It's precious, I know.
(Sidenote- no, that is not my child. To my knowledge, I actually have no asian children. Maybe one day I'll adopt...)
But I really like this picture. It's an accurate portrayal of one of my children working with a puzzle. You see, her face is filled with joy, or surprise or...
Actually, I'm not sure what the look on her face is supposed to be. But she's cute. End of rabbit trail.
Here is a more accurate portrayal of one of my children working on a puzzle:
He's not mine either but I'd adopt either of them in a heartbeat- boogers and all.
So as I was watching Jacob work on this puzzle, a certain image came to mind. I thought about how many times I've carried around this giant puzzle piece in my life. I've tried to manipulate the puzzle and force this piece in to the place where I'm certain it belongs. I keep pushing and pushing, moving it around, turning it over, and still... it won't fit.
When I watch Jacob, occasionally I'll offer some assistance. Most of the time he refuses because he really feels a sense of pride in his accomplishment when he is able to complete the puzzle on his own.
Don't we all?
This particular time, I said to him, "Jacob, Mommy can help you with that piece. I've got the picture right here, so I know what it's supposed to look like." He scowled. He was turning in to a bear. I knew he was getting frustrated with the puzzle so I insisted, "Why don't you let mommy help you?"
Jacob protested. His toddler pride was wounded. He insisted that he knew how to do it. So I watched him pick his nose and wrestle a little more with that particular piece before finally conceding, "Mommy, can you please help me with this puzzle?"
At his request, I gladly took that piece from his hand (trading him for a tissue) and showed him a couple of other pieces that needed to be put in place before his troublesome piece would work.
Once he let me help him with the puzzle, I didn't shame him for trying to get through it on his own. I didn't make him feel bad about not wanting my help. Instead, I helped him by gently guiding each of the remaining pieces in to place... after which, we had a long talk about personal hygiene. I'm kidding... sort of. :)
So, to my self, I thought again about this puzzle piece (these pieces) that I've been trying to fit in to my own "puzzle". I realized that in many ways, I can still be like a toddler.
And then I am reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path."
It's like turning to the one who made the puzzle and allowing Him to show you where each piece goes. You may pick up a piece and try to put it in the puzzle, and He may take that piece away from you so he can set it on the sidelines until you are ready for it. Sometimes other pieces need to be put in to place first, or the rest of the pieces won't fit the way they are supposed to.
God is the "puzzle-maker". He is the one who designed me, who mapped out this beautiful "puzzle" of my life. He has a plan and it's so much more perfect than any plan I could make for myself. He sees the bigger picture and I can only seem to focus on this big piece in front of me.
So... I have control issues. I wonder what other pieces I'm still trying to hold on to...
(like maybe this analogy?)
What about you?