God Holds the Pieces of Our Lives
Have you ever gone to put together a puzzle but there were pieces missing, or there were so many pieces you spent hours trying to make one piece fit in a hundred places but never quite found where it belongs? When this happens to me I feel so inadequate and inept. I feel like whoever created this puzzle had a personal goal to make me feel stupid, or to wear me down with exasperation. My ego is bruised, I tear my hair out, growl, and curse the puzzle gods. Heaven forbid I actually look at the cover of the box and see how the original looks.
Worst of all is having spent hours, perhaps days, working on a five thousand piece puzzle with intricate designs, and someone, or the wind, bring it crashing down, and the pieces are scattered everywhere. Maddening! Overwhelming! I want to scream. My final decision has been to not do puzzles anymore.
But life can be that way also. I've had so many pieces of my life either fall out or torn and wrenched away; and in my own strength and limited understanding, I have tried to fit the pieces back into place. If the piece(s) didn't fit, it usually has been because my perspective is clouded by weaknesses or sin. The confusion can be overwhelming.
Sometimes I have forced pieces into spaces they weren't designed for. They were meant for a different puzzle, a different person, a different life. Because of my willfulness, I forced the piece into a space where it didn't belong, and the space became deformed. Even if I were to discover the right piece, it would no longer fit because I ruined the space it fits into.
Sometimes, through no fault of my own, my life has become shattered and fragmented by some evil or misfortune. The pieces were so many, and I was so overwhelmed, I gave up hope of ever being made whole again.
Not to be flippant or minimizing, but in a very small way this all reminds me of the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings horses, and all the kings men,
couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again!
Neither I, nor Humpty Dumpty, nor any human on earth can put the pieces of our lives back together, but there is One who can. So take heart and read on.
Job - all the pieces of his life stripped away
The pieces of Job's life
The life of Job is one to highlight. Job lost everything. As the wealthiest and most godly man on earth in his time, God bragged on Job to Satan and gave Satan a green light to afflict Job with unfathomable trials. In one day, Job lost all of his wealth, all ten of his cherished children, all of his servants, and His livelihood. Job had the most unheard of but remarkable response:
"Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong" (Job 1:20-22).
Satan was proven wrong and it ticked him off. He then sought for any remaining vestiges (pieces) of Job's life. God told him he could afflict Job with sickness, but not unto death. Job's illness was so hideous he was unrecognizable to his friends (Job 2:12). So many pieces of Job's life had been stripped away. The emotional pain was probably greater than any man alive. Then horrendous physical suffering was added, causing one more piece of his life to fall. His suffering became still worse - enter Job's wife and his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Job's wife, who was suffering almost as much as Job, told him to give up, spare himself anymore suffering by cursing God and dying. It would be easier that way. Job didn't like that option and said so. Then Job's three friends came to support him. For a week they sat beside him in silence, suffering with him. Then they opened their mouths and proceeded to blame him for his own troubles. They told him what was happening was due to sin in his life. Two more vital pieces of life came crumbling down.
Fast forward several chapters through which we hear Job's despair, his doubts, his anger with God, his questions, and his arguments. God asks Job where he was when He (the Lord) laid the foundations of the earth. For a few more chapters God asks Job questions about the inner workings of the universe and in the plant and animal world. He tells Job to give an answer. Job was profoundly humbled. He recognized that it is God who puts not only the pieces of the universe together, but the pieces of our lives together when they fall or come apart for whatever reason. God heals and restores. In repentance and acceptance Job replied,
"I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know...I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (42:2-3, 5-6).
Job did not suffer because he did something to deserve it. God allowed it for a purpose. It didn't make sense to anyone, least of all Job. But in the end, all Job needed to know was that God was Sovereign and in control, and he could trust God with every piece of his life.
When it was all over, God restored every piece of life that had been taken from him. He had ten more children, was given new and just as bountiful a prosperity as before, and he went on to live another one hundred and forty years, enjoying another four generations of children and grandchildren (42:12-16). Glory be to God!
The promise of all things new
Our lives are in His hands
It is true that all the kings horses and all the kings men can't put us together again, but the King of Glory can. The Bible says, "For God is the King of all the earth; sing you praises with understanding" (Psalm 47:7). As King of all creation, He is always in control. We can't always see it, but His word tells us so; we saw it in the life of Job.
David said to the Lord, "My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hands of my enemies" (Psalm 31:15). I have to remind myself that I have a Creator who designed me, and my life is in His hands. Only He knows where every piece belongs. When I am wise and humble enough, I seek Him out to put my life together again.
The Bible provides a wonderful message to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
Psalm 147:3, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
The Apostle Peter said something that really resonates with all of this: "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." (1 Peter 4:19). Sometimes it is God's will that we are broken for a time, as it was in Job's case. We must entrust ourselves to Him, believing that He is faithful in every good thing, in His good time. When we leave this earthly tent and enter into God's presence, we will be completely whole. In Revelation 21:1-5, the greatest promise for God's beloved is this:
"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
The final promise from Revelation 22:20,
"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
© 2015 Lori Colbo. All rights reserved.
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