Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:19-20
While I was out on my Saturday morning walk, I stopped at a neighborhood yard-sale. Usually I try to avoid picking up other people’s junk (or treasure) but I was intrigued by a 1,000 piece puzzle that reminded me a bit of a Thomas Kincaid painting. After returning home with it, I carefully taped together a cardboard piece big enough so I could move the puzzle around and then excitedly dumped out the pieces. First I assembled
the edges and then grouped the rest of the pieces by color. But as I worked I discovered that I had a serious problem. The puzzle pieces were not from the puzzle displayed on the box!
Joseph’s life must have seemed a lot like my puzzle. His dreams of greatness and success must have seemed far off during his years of slavery and jail. Have you ever felt that way? My own hopes and dreams; like the photo on the box-top are decidedly different from the jumble of the pieces of my life. Some days or even years it feels as if nothing fits together no matter how hard I try.
But rather than give up I determined to find out just what kind of picture I would see if I kept at it. So as I worked piece by piece I began to see a cottage very different from the one on the box and yet still breathtaking in its complexity and beauty.
That is how the Christian life is. Our puzzle box dilemma is not an accident. On the outside things are never as they appear. God has chosen for us to walk by faith just like Joseph. When we trust God no matter what we see; it frees us from the tyranny of expectations; both our own and those of others. Faith frees us to forgive and then live in confidence that whatever the final picture looks like; it has been designed by God. As we trust Him to fit together the pieces we will little by little begin to see and a perfect reflection of His love for us all!