Piece by Piece (Nicole Cain)

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Even the best of us can admit that, at one time or another, we have been selfish. For many, if not all, this started as a result of a basic stage in human development usually reached by those three and four year olds who walk the streets like they have the whole world in their hands. While all of us start out this way in life, many of us find humility in one way or another, and learn to embrace the idea that there is a world outside of our own little individual bubbles, and then come to admire the colors brought to the canvas by others, and how they seem to complement our own contributions to the painting of this life.

When I was little, I used to love puzzles. I remember spending days-upon-days at the kitchen table, sorting by color, quadrant, and identifying what would be the edges of the beautiful picture that laid in pieces before me. I would reference the box as I examined each piece, judging its shape and characteristics, and where it would fit into the image I was trying to imitate. Sometimes, I would spend weeks on a really difficult puzzle, just to realize that I had, in the process, lost some pieces. The image was flawed, and my instinct was to try to find the missing pieces.

As we read through the Bible, it is easy to see that our goal as christians is to develop a relationship with the Lord, and do our part in creating His kingdom, here on earth. An undertaking not to be taken lightly, I look at this as the most difficult puzzle I may ever come across in life. A challenge which needs to be taken piece by piece.

Like most, the first thing I do when opening a new puzzle is to find my borders. In faith, I relate this to the general information that all christians should be aware of. The basic bible stories of creation found within Genesis, the Ten Commandments outlined in the book of Exodus, the three points of the gospel deprived from 1 Corinthians, an understanding of the Holy Trinity, as well as other general stepping stones in faith. Having a solid understanding of the basics provides a foundation upon which we are able to delve deeper into our own personal relationships with the Lord. For some, this may be a difficult testament of faith. You may be able to identify some pieces more easily than others, or be blind to the ones which sit right before you. Even so, it is important that we remain faithful in the plan set before us in the name of the Lord, and trust that He will guide us in building His kingdom here on earth

Sometimes you may choose to look at the image and take it piece by piece, section by section. In doing so you may choose to focus on taking time to strengthen your prayer life, delve deeper into His Word, lead others into the faith, or use the gifts He has blessed you with to serve your community as He would want you to. All the small pieces come together to create just one aspect of the breathtaking image you are piecing together: the handiwork of the almighty God.

With time you uncover various other magnificent features of the awe-inspiring puzzle before you, and what once seemed like a challenge too difficult to attain has but a few pieces still remaining to be filled. You find such pride and strength in the Father for guiding you, as you look at the breathtaking kingdom He has worked tirelessly, through you and many others, to create. Your inner grit is striking, as you want so badly to complete this puzzle, when you realize that somewhere along the line, some pieces went astray.

In those moments where you know life isn’t complete yet, have patience and hope in bringing those pieces to where their presence will be met with love and honor of the Lord our God. Trust that he has a plan for you, and that your sins have been forgiven in the name of the Son. And, always remember that no puzzle is unsolvable, and God is with you every step of the way. You are but one piece in the Lord”s most flawless puzzle.

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