When I was a child I loved to put together puzzles. I could sit for hours at a time and work on one all by myself. I would try to find a place where I could work alone and that if I had to walk away my work would not be disturbed. I can remember sometimes getting annoyed by my brother who would walk through the room and his foot would hit some of the pieces. I cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would do it on purpose, but what older sibling doesn’t pass up the chance to annoy their younger one?
About a month ago a friend of mine gave me a puzzle. The last time I remember putting a puzzle together was when I worked at a daycare in college. I was kind of excited about it, but after a week or so of my husband and I trying to put it together, the excitement left me. We didn’t have the original box that the puzzle came in so we weren’t exactly sure how it was supposed to look and then I ended up being more frustrated than excited to see the finished work. A few weeks ago I stopped by another friend’s house and saw that she had a personalized puzzle and I thought that would be a cool idea for my husband and I as our first anniversary will soon be approaching.
With the financial impacts of Covid-19 and our uncertainty about eating out or just attending social events altogether, I’ve decided to have a low-key celebration for our anniversary. I’ve ordered us matching t-shirts and a personalized puzzle and will probably think of other corny things to order (because with Amazon Prime there is no limit, right?). Shout out to my husband for always being a good sport, LOL! Yesterday we started working on the puzzle, sometimes together and other times separately. We giggled and bickered, then giggled some more. Last night I went in the dining room and put a few pieces together and as I sat there staring at the table with puzzle pieces spread about, the Lord, as he has done so many times before, revealed something about himself, in something so simple as a partially put together puzzle.
He is the puzzle master! He is constantly doing something within us, molding us, refining us, building something up inside of us, working on us and through us. Everyday he is adding and connecting piece after to piece as he works to complete the life that he has destined for us. Stripping away layer after layer collected through out the years that have weighed us down – freeing us from all of the dead weight. He is constantly working on us. I remember my husband saying, “Baby I’m stuck,” and I told him to just step away for a minute and then go back to working on it. Last night I thought about how God doesn’t get stuck. Shake up the pieces, throw them in the air and let the pieces fall where they may – God is never thrown off course. It doesn’t matter where the pieces land, he already knows where they fit.
During this pandemic I have truly sheltered in place. I can probably count the times that I have left the house since March on both hands. I’ve been able to sit and listen to what God has to say, to take notice of the things that he is revealing and I’ve been more willing to allow him to do what he will with me. He continues to reveal his purpose for me and I am okay with it. He keeps working on me.
How do we know when God is working on us?
- God works on us through conviction, a thought that changes something sinful that we’ve done. This is why it is important that we saturate ourselves in God’s word. His word transforms us and promotes spiritual growth. “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
- God works on us by changing our desire for him. God promises to give us a new heart that chases after him. We begin to have new desires that pull our hearts closer to him in a much more deeper and meaningful relationship. The way that we respond should be by leaning into these desires. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekial 36:26
- God works on us by renewing our minds. Changing our mindset is such a difficult challenge that we face. Psychological research shows that our minds are made up on important issues and changing our minds can be like trying to stop a moving freight train. When we have an urging to draw closer to the Lord, we must commit to renewing our mind in his word and through prayer. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2
- God works on us through redirection. It is always possible for any us to get off track no matter how cohesive we believe our relation with God to be. Sometimes we just find ourselves in chaos and have no idea how we even ended up in it. Sometimes it seems like our lives are just falling apart. We can’t see through the fog. We can’t seem to catch our breath. We just lose our way and all seems lost. But, that’s when God steps in and redirects us. He has the power to turn our circumstances all the way around. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. ” Psalm 32:8
Dear God, please keep working on me. Collect the scattered pieces and place them in their rightful place. Lord only you know what the finished work will be – please keep working on me. When I feel disconnected from you, reassure me that there is nothing (absolutely nothing) that can separate me from your love. When I feel like I’ve lost my way, remind me that if I trust in you with all my heart you will direct my path. When I feel like all is lost, remind me that your divine power has given me everything that I need.
Dear God, keep working on me….