A Life Complete

puzzleOur daughter, Annesley, loves puzzles. As a preschooler, she’d open a 500-piece box and start fitting pieces together. She didn’t bother with doing the edges first, or with sorting by color. She simply worked left to right, like some little towheaded computer, methodically checking to see if each piece fit before she rejected it and moved on to the next one. Row by row, piece by piece, the picture finally came into focus.

Today, as a 22-year-old architect, Annesley still welcomes a good puzzle—and each Christmas, she’s sure to get one from her brother, Robbie (who does his limited but effective shopping at Target). Annesley doesn’t waste any time getting started; usually by December 27, the puzzle is all but complete.

This year, an untimely swipe of the dog’s tail derailed her handiwork. Unfazed, Annesley picked up the pieces and collected them in the box, planning to start over once she returned to her Charlottesville apartment. Unfortunately, when she put the picture together again on her dining room table, she came up short. It was just one piece, but to a puzzle aficionado, to miss one piece is (I am told) to miss the whole victory.

Alerted to the crisis via text message, Robbie and I crawled around on the floor of the family room and found the lost piece. I sent it to Annesley in an envelope marked, “PUZZLE PIECE.” No care package could have been received with more joy; she immediately sent me a photo of the completed masterpiece with the caption, “Best Day.”

The psalmist says, “God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him” (Psalm 18:20). I read that the other day and I couldn’t help but focus on the word all. If we want God to make our lives complete, we can’t hold back. We have to put all of the pieces on his dining room table. To do anything less—even if it’s just one little piece that we refuse to trust him with—means to miss out on the full and victorious life that he offers.

But when we trust him with everything (even those tricky misshapen pieces), he makes our life a masterpiece. It doesn’t matter if we are broken into 5,000 pieces. In God’s loving hands, and in his perfect timing, it’s all going to come together. And when it does, particularly if we’ve been through a season of waiting, it really will be the “Best Day.”

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