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Every Piece Matters

Puzzles frustrate me.

You open up the box and hundreds of odd-shaped, little pieces of cardboard tumble out of it.

You look at the pile of pieces awkwardly jumbled on top of each other on the table in front of you and wonder how they are ever going to come together.

The monumental task before me makes me want to give up before I even start – while others seem to relish the moment – the moment just before they pick up that first piece and create order, meaning, and beauty out of the chaos.

Such are the days of our lives.

Each day is a singular puzzle piece – often with no apparent value or meaning on its own – but when joined together with the other pieces will produce a beautiful picture.

Often, we search for meaning in the mundane tasks of housekeeping, bookkeeping, and keeping our minds when our children are losing theirs – and strain to find any.

On those days, the daunting task before us makes us want to give up – while on our better days, we can relish the moment – the moment we get to create something beautiful with God.

So, what will help us stay motivated and on track?

Just like putting a puzzle together:

1. Let the picture on the box guide you

2. Connect two pieces at a time

3. Every piece matters

1. Let the picture on the box guide you

Think of the picture on the cover of the puzzle box as God’s will for all of us. Our loving and attentive father has carefully painted a beautiful picture of what it means to live a life of meaning and beauty in his Word.

And just like the process of putting a puzzle together, we’ve got to regularly look back at that picture, refer to it, and let it guide us in our process.

This is one of the greatest benefits of spending time with the Lord each morning in prayer and Bible study – we are reminded of God’s will for our lives.

“Make me walk along the path of your commands,

for that is where my happiness is found…

129 Your laws are wonderful.

No wonder I obey them!

130 The teaching of your word gives light,

so even the simple can understand.”

(Psalm 119:35, 129-130, NLT)

Of course, God’s commands – his general will for all of us – will apply slightly differently in each of our lives; and his specific will in the various circumstances we face will vary from person to person and is sometimes unclear.

But the picture of God’s commands and general will in his Word will always give us the principles we need to guide us in our day-to-day decisions.

So, keep referring back to God’s will for your life – it’s the picture on the cover of the puzzle box that will keep you on track.

2. Connect two pieces at a time

Practically speaking, simply find two puzzle pieces that fit together.

For example, I can piece together God's command to work hard at my job with the puzzle piece of going to work today.

I’m looking at the picture on the puzzle box (the big picture of God’s will) that calls me to work hard at my job, and allowing that part of the picture to inform this part of my day.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

The puzzle of my life may not be completed for many years to come, but today I can work at my job with all my heart since I know I am serving Christ himself with every moment at my desk, and he will reward me with an inheritance one day. Boom! One more piece of the puzzle in place.

That’s how puzzles get done – by fitting two pieces together at a time – connecting God’s will with what I’m doing right now.

3. Every piece matters

You know what the number one rule is in putting a puzzle together?

Don’t lose any of the pieces.

Why? Because every piece matters.

Ever seen a finished puzzle with one piece missing? It’s the first place your eyes go. It ruins the picture. Why? Because every piece matters.

Same with our lives.

Don’t waste a day.

Don’t waste an hour.

Don’t waste a moment!

Why? Because every piece of the puzzle matters.

And when you waste a piece of your life or just get it wrong – don’t give up on the puzzle – just undo the incorrect connection of pieces and redo it. Because the whole hue and tone of the picture on the box is a rose-colored red that covers God’s will for our lives in the merciful blood of Christ.

So, don’t get stuck; just undo and redo as often as you need to.

Just remember:

every routine chore matters

every mundane activity matters

every moment of rest matters

every kind word or look matters

every daily interaction matters.

Every piece of the puzzle matters.

As my favorite artist, Akiene Kramarik, says while describing one of her paintings entitled “Today”: “Our life is a puzzle. It cannot be completed without today. In the beginning, when we start putting the puzzle together, one missing piece doesn’t seem that important. But in the end, it becomes the most valuable.” (

The Masterpiece

I enjoy watching the high-speed videos that show Akeine painting a portrait from beginning to end. The early part of the painting always looks meaningless – blotches of paint and random looking lines seem disconnected at best and chaotic at worst – just like our lives sometimes.

But as the artist continues to follow the clear image in her mind, the actual portrait begins to take shape and come alive before our eyes.

You and I are co-creators with God – painting the masterpieces of our lives.

Don’t let the early blotches of paint and random looking lines that seem so disconnected and pointless discourage you. They’re just like that puzzle: peculiar pieces that only find their meaning when connected to the larger whole.

One day you’ll look back – and see that all those seemingly unimportant pieces of your daily life came together to form a unique and beautiful picture – the masterpiece of your life.

Because every piece matters – including today.

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