My wife, Sharon, and I are no different than most of you… COVID-19 has forced us to do a few things to pass the time while we’ve been staying close to home. One of them has been doing a few jigsaw puzzles… and believe it or not, we’ve learned some important spiritual lessons while we’ve struggled to put the puzzles together!
We purchased one jigsaw of Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park, in our home state of Montana, that was especially challenging…
Here are some of the spiritual lessons we learned… (And may I suggest you read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:1-16 and 1 Peter 4:10-11 as Scriptural support for many of the lessons learned.)
1. Every piece is important if the picture of the beautiful landscape is to be completed… the shapes may be different and the colors varied (even those with slight differences) – but all are important! And so it is in the Church – the “Body of Christ” – all are important, all are essential, if we are to represent Jesus Christ without distortion in our world.
2. Recognizing the difference between the pieces and appreciating what they contribute is an important key to successfully completing a jigsaw puzzle. And it is no different in the Church – the “Body of Christ!” If we are to complete the beautiful picture of who Christ is and what He has accomplished, the differences among us (as well as our similarities) must be acknowledged and appreciated – differences in background, culture, race, gender, gifts… and I could go on – all are important.
3. Our puzzle was on a card table in one of the rooms of our home. We had to be vigilant – there was a time or two, or three, or four, that a piece of the puzzle slipped from the table on to the floor – and there I was on my hands and knees searching the carpet for the fallen piece. In the Church we can afford to be no less vigilant! Every member of “the Body of Christ” is important to our Lord! As His faithful servants, we must do our best not to lose even one member of the Body! He, “the Good Shepherd,” searches for “the one lost sheep!” until He find them – so should we (cp. Matthew 18:10-14)!
4. Sharon and I fumbled around a lot on this puzzle… it wasn’t the easiest by any means to put together. Human spiritual leaders, even the very gifted, do a lot of fumbling around as we seek to represent Christ through the Church in our world! But not Christ! He knows where every piece fits and we are at our best the more we consult Him and let Him lead us. I don’t know how many times I grabbed the box that the puzzle came in to see what the finished product would look like and where a piece might fit.
5. And finally… you NEVER want a missing piece to mar the beauty of the picture on a jigsaw puzzle! To Sharon and my dismay, we had one piece missing (see where the arrow points on the pic). When Christ is involved – when His Lordship is acknowledged – when He leads there will be NO MISSING PIECES! When all is said and done and we, the Church (and each individual in it) stand before Him in Heaven the picture will be complete! The church in Philippi was given this inspired assurance from the Lord… “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in [or among] you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ!” (Philippians 1:6)