By Paula Lube
When my to-do list is small and I feel I can afford the luxury of putting up a card table in the middle of my living room and parking there for a while, I allow myself the challenge of a jigsaw puzzle. No less than 300 pieces, no more than 1000. And not a lot of sky, or non-descript images, and absolutely no all one-color puzzles!
This is how I rest.
I prefer images that capture my interest – autumnal farmyard scenes, shelves full of colorful books, tv shows from my childhood, old fashioned streetscapes. It’s exciting to see these scenes start to form in front of me.
The process begins with edge pieces, but is soon interrupted when I notice intriguing faces, architectural details, signs, and other easily recognized images that fit together to nourish my strategic-creative-accomplishment bent. When what seems like a facial feature is spotted, I gleefully pick it up and bring it to its “proper” place, and after experiencing the perfect fit, I am satisfied. At rest.
But there are those pieces that just don’t fit – at least, not where I think they should fit! Those imposter pieces look like they should go here, or there, but no, that’s not their place. It is at this point that I remember it’s called a puzzle. So, I find peace (sort of) to let those pieces continue puzzling me until the very end when their true purpose is revealed by the few remaining spaces, and I say to myself, “Oh, now I get it.”
Do I experience the same peace and rest when the pieces of my life don’t fit? Do you?
As Christ Followers we know there is a place and a purpose for everything under heaven. (Proverbs 16:4, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) But how much rest does your mind experience when your career goes sideways? (You were supposed to get promoted, not her!) Or your spouse is diagnosed with cancer? (We were supposed to enjoy this time of life together!) Or your son tells you he’s gay? (You brought him up with biblical values!)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Jesus answers, not by saying “Get busy and do something about this.” He says, “Come to me.” Will you bring your questions, your hurts, your puzzlements to Him? He may not reveal His answers immediately, but He invites us into a process.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me …
As we walk with Jesus and learn more about Him day to day, we can find a deeper peace, a knowledge that eases our minds and hearts, and gives us rest.
… for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
When we follow Jesus and learn to be gentle and lowly in heart like Him, we realize that He has done all the work necessary to help us find purpose in our tasks and promise in the things we don’t understand – yet. It’s good to ask ourselves during these times, is this an opportunity to learn? To grow? To share?
… For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
May Jesus’ words from Matthew 11:28-30 give rest to our souls when the puzzle pieces of our lives just don’t seem to fit. May we welcome these situations as opportunities, and may we look forward to that day when we each say, “Oh, now I get it.”
PS: Be sure to check out all of the great Bible teaching content at www.backtothebible.org or, from your mobile device, click this link GOtandem from the App Store or Google Play and download our Daily Spiritual Fitness App.