Waiting for puzzle pieces

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I feel like a six year old who’s been given a new puzzle – on a rainy day when there’s nothing to do. But I am not allowed to open the box and get started. I just have to sit and wait. Even worse, there’s no picture on the box so I do not know what it will look like when it’s completed. All the pieces to my mystery puzzle are in the box – but I am not allowed to get started!

I want to throw a tantrum… But I suspicion that will only make Dad grumpy, not make Him open the box faster. Oh please, can’t I have just a piece or two to get started?! Sigh. And I also have a sneaky feeling that when we (Dad and I) start the puzzle – finally – that He will hand me the pieces one at a time and it could be a long time before we finish and all the center is filled in and we can see what the full picture is.

How long do I have to wait to open the puzzle box?

With the psalmist I cry “How long, O Lord?”

In my case, it is our family’s post-retirement future that lies in the puzzle box.

And you? Do you have some part of your life or your future that is shrouded in mystery – a gray fog, not necessarily dark but not light either, just an unknown? Are you in transition? Or suffering and wishing you could see the end? Or maybe you are called to something but don’t know exactly what?

I want to have CONTROL! I want to rip open the box and put the puzzle all in order, right now! I want to KNOW what the final picture is! But I have to wait. I am very bad at waiting. I fidget and I want to fiddle with things. I am a mover and shaker and I hate when things move slowly.

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

I was convicted today that asking “How long?” is not really the right question. Rather I need to ask myself, “How should I behave while waiting?!”

I thought about what I tell my kids when they have to wait for something: Be patient. Don’t complain. You may ask me again, but not too many times in the same day. Go find something else to do. Relax! I promise you that I have not forgotten. Trust me. Have you done what I asked you to do yesterday? No, it won’t be too late. I know what I am doing, I am your mother. I am not doing this to be mean to you. It’s good for you to wait. Yes, I love you.

Read that again. Imagine that’s what God is saying to me (or you). Which of those statements jumps out at you?

Waiting in the fog for God to reveal pieces of the puzzle requires several things of me:

A belief that God is good and that He cares about me – which allows me to trust Him;

An expectation that He will answer – which keeps me on my knees waiting for Him;

A willingness to obey what has already been revealed – without knowing what is next;

And a whole lot of patience and perseverance!

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

O Lord, help me to be childlike in my faith and trust in you – and to willingly relinquish control of my life to you, your timing, and your perfect plan.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

(Confession: I wrote this last week and waited to publish it. In the meantime, God handed me a big puzzle piece – my husband accepted a teaching job! Now I am simply waiting for more of the pieces of our future to fall into place…)

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