Puzzle Pieces

Image by Mike Sweeney from Pixabay

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. –John 14:1 NIV

My youngest grandson loves to put together jigsaw puzzles. So I keep several age-appropriate puzzles around for when the he comes for some “Grandma time.”

When he was five, his favorite puzzle was a 100-piece pirate ship puzzle, which he could put together without my assistance. But I still helped, assembling the border. The straight-edge pieces are much easier to figure out than the inside. By the time I had the border in place, he’d already completed quite a bit of the inside. It’s a good thing the puzzle makers put a picture on the front of the box. Without it, I’d get too frustrated.

Ever think that life is like a jigsaw puzzle?

Imagine what the young Jewish girl Hadassah, an orphan raised by her uncle, felt when she was taken to be a part of King Xerxes’ harem.

Hadassah’s dreams for a husband and family were dashed. What were her chances of being chosen to the queen of Persia? Uncle Mordecai, who held a high position in the civil service of the empire, advised her not to reveal her family background or nationality. So she had to do things no nice Jewish girl would have done. So much for her reputation.

But she found favor with the head harem keeper, who pampered her more than the other girls, and put her in the best place in the harem. After twelve months of beauty treatments, the time came for Hadassah, who now went by “Esther,” to go to the king.

“Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. He set a royal crown upon her head and made her queen” (Esther 2:17).

But things did not remain settled for Queen Esther. You know the story—how she risked her life to uncover a wicked man’s plot to annihilate the Jews.

Sometimes we focus on the risk and courage aspect of this story—and that the bad guy gets caught in the end—and forget that Hadassah didn’t know how her life story would play out. First she’s orphaned, then taken from her adopted home to be a part of something that would only bring shame to a young Jewish girl. Then, when everything seems hunky-dory, she’s asked to lay it all on the line.

I imagine, like us, she wondered how the pieces of her life would fit together. By itself, each puzzle piece seems to make no sense. But as the pieces are patiently fit into the overall pattern, the picture becomes clearer.

Life’s puzzle, however, doesn’t come with a picture on the box, at least one we can see.

Our Maker, though, does—indeed, He has designed it—and patiently directs us, one piece at a time.

When the pieces of my life don’t seem to fit anywhere, Lord, remind me that each piece has a place in the picture You created just for me. Amen.

Read through the Book of Esther in one sitting.

© 2012, 2019 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

True to Plumb

I am setting a plumb line in the midst of My people. Amos 7:8 (NKJV)

“An army of the world’s top climatologist agree: man-made global warming is a fraud.”

I clicked the link to read the article then googled the subject. A whole slew of articles popped up addressing the topic, some claiming man-made global warming is a scam, others insisting climate warming is, indeed, due to human activities.

Who to believe?

It’s like the “eggs are bad/good for you” debate. It seems for every theory, there’s an opposing one. Both sides use scientific studies to back their claims.

But theories change, don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but I want to build my life on something that doesn’t change.

What doesn’t change?

Truth.

But how do we know what’s true and what’s false? What basis do we use?

Me, I use the Bible.

There are those, I know, who don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that it’s relevant to us today. It’s like the global warming controversy and the debate over whether a certain food is good or bad for the human body. We look at the argument on both sides and choose.

I choose to believe the Bible is the Word of God and use it as the rock upon which I build my life-house.

Why?

First, because the Bible shows us our Creator’s standards. Like a plumb line. When a wall is built to standard and is straight, it’s said to be “true to plumb.” If it isn’t, it’s “out of plumb.”

“You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself,” sang the late Rick Nelson in his hit song “Garden Party.” That might sound like a good philosophy, but think about it: What would the world be like if each person’s main focus was to please himself first, and “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25)? We’d be out of plumb.

Second, the Bible, unlike man’s theories, is enduring. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). “Forever, O LORD, Thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89). I want a life based on something that isn’t fickle, something that won’t change with every new study or theory.

Third, because God’s Word is enlightening, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It gives me guidance, wisdom and knowledge. It lights my way in a world that’s getting darker and darker, clearing up the confusion that often besets me as I travel life’s road.

Fourth, because God’s Word is effective. God Himself said His Word will not return to Him void but will accomplish all that He desires for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:10–11). It’s living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword and penetrates to the hidden places in our beings—our thoughts and attitudes (Hebrews 4:12)—the very places that need changed and cleansed.

And finally (not finally really, but finally for the sake of brevity), God’s Word teaches us what is true and to do what is right. It makes us realize what’s wrong with our lives and how to correct it (2 Timothy 3:16).

Either we’re “out of plumb” or “true to plumb.”

Which are you?

Help me, O Lord, to be true to plumb. Amen.

Read and reflect on Amos 7:7–15; Luke 6:46–49

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God (c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.