I’ve been thinking on and off about the jigsaw puzzle again. I used the puzzle as a metaphor in a previous post which you can reread HERE. Imagine if you bought yourself a new and expensive jigsaw puzzle of an incredible, eye-catching landscape. A landscape that for you was profoundly beautiful and striking in many ways but to your surprise and dismay you discover after a few days of working on this outstanding picture that there are some pieces missing. How disappointing!
The connected pieces reveal a patchy and incomplete image leaving gaps within the photographic landscape that leaves the puzzle looking disconnected, unfinished, incomplete, and diminished of the promise of fulfillment and your reason for buying the puzzle. The purpose of your purchase is thwarted and obviously leaves you feeling disappointed with an unfinished puzzle of the photo on the box. Your puzzle will not display the original purpose for which it was intended because pieces, for whatever reason have been lost. The magnificent power of display has diminished the purpose for which it was designed because of the missing pieces of the puzzle!
A random thought? Well, maybe not so crazy! I do realise that metaphors have their limitations but this picture parable got me thinking about something that I discern within much of the Church. Missing pieces. A friend of mine commented in response to my question, “What pieces are missing in His Church today?” No pieces are missing he said. This position is strengthened by Peter’s statement in his second letter. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” Peter then goes on to say later, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your…”
SO I ASK THE QUESTION
God has made everything available to us through the resurrection of His Son Jesus in order that we might live a God-honouring life and become a God-centred people. But too often I see gaps or pieces missing in my own life and the Church. So I ask the question… what are the missing pieces? This question has challenged me and as I have shared it with friends some of their responses have included, holiness, hearing God, discernment, love, and the list goes on. There are no right or wrong answers but there do seem to be pieces missing within the Body of Christ. The more important question however is whether we are able to change this status. His gifts and virtues are freely available to us, His people. Why do we not see them reflected and at work within His people?
THE WAY FORWARD
I have said this before but it is a key to the answer, a signpost to lead the way. A reminder that all the missing pieces are not bits of information about God but rather our own need to engage with God’s story, wait, and listen for the revelation of God. Our restoration is not based upon following a set of rules and regulations that magically restore the missing pieces but rather our personal relationship with Jesus that brings alive the whole picture of God. I AM reminds us that we are drawn to participate in His Story by faithfully embracing and participating in His life-giving words.
Jesus’ prayer, “And this is the real and eternal life: that they know you, the One and only true God.” The laying down of our own feelings, plans, and aspirations to enjoy getting to know God. The longing of God’s heart is to be with us and to know He delights in doing so. A dear friend of mine helped me with this puzzle and the missing pieces with an insightful comment. “The piece that might be missing from the church; to me, is the word, intimacy, which probably describes a missing piece that completely changes the whole picture.”
The word ‘to know’ in the original language means a deep level of intimacy. If we long to be more like Jesus His desire and purpose is for us to know Him. As we allow the work of the Spirit to draw us to Himself I believe we will discover that hidden intimacy will bring about fruitfulness and the missing pieces will be restored and His Church will become glorious in every way.
“Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hope up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone.”