I like a good jigsaw puzzle. I have many happy memories of family “get-togethers” working on a puzzle of some horses or a landscape or even some abstract design. Those funky ones can be really irritating. Of course the first thing you do when you open a puzzle box is to find the four corners and the flat edge pieces. Why? Because as you solve a puzzle, it helps to know just how big it’s going to get.
In life, there’s puzzles to solve and problems to fix. Some have nice fixed boundaries. Take “X” number of classes and get a diploma. Work “X” number of hours and get a paycheck. Getting through it may be exhausting but at least you know the parameters you’re living in but sometimes the boundaries of a problem expand. Your child’s grades drop drastically, the doctor says the treatments are not working or your spouse stops kissing you goodnight. Suddenly the borders on your problem have broken and the problem has gotten bigger.
At this point there’s certainly fear about how to solve the growing problem but the real fear is how big can this thing get? Are there any boundaries to this problem? Is there a limit to how bad it can get or will it continue to grow until it drains your hope? Is there anything to hold on to that will not move? The answer is yes, there’s Jesus.
Our faith in Christ gives us the ultimate boundary to any struggle and strife that comes into our lives. Through His death and resurrection, He has set limits as to how big and how ugly the struggles in this life can become. Missionary Andrew Murray said it better than me. Listen to what he wrote during a difficult time:
“First, He brought me here; it is by His will that I am in this difficult place;… in that I will rest.
Second, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.
Third He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the trials He intends for me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Fourth, in His good time He can bring me out again… how and when He knows.
So … I am here by His appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”
Isn’t that beautiful? I yearn to face my struggles as the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:18. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” When your eyes sees your life as an endless pile of puzzle pieces with no flat edges in sight remember the things you cannot see. In Christ, we have the unbending boundary to every problem for we are never beyond His will, His love and His restoration.