No Need To Be Puzzled

June 7, 2016
by Karl Csaszar

My wife loves the challenge of doing jigsaw puzzles. She handpicks each piece and ponderingly places it somewhere on the board. The individual piece may fit, or she may set it nearby for an eventual link to some other piece of the puzzle.

With incredible patience and tenacity, day after day, she studies the picture on the box and piece after piece. Placed just so, one by one, they take on the picture on the box. You can imagine the feeling of satisfaction when the puzzle pieces surrender their location and the almost-completed puzzle reveals the reward of her daily efforts. The resplendent, completed picture is matched by her glowing eyes of satisfaction! You can imagine the joyous heartbeat pounding out the message, "A job well done!" Life is good!

In writing to encourage one of his young, struggling disciples, the apostle Paul patiently mentored Timothy about life's challenges. With the words in a letter from the "apostle of a heart set free," Timothy is reminded by Paul of the past adventures in his life that have led him to his incarceration. But Paul also shares his certain hope of the reward that awaits him (following his Roman execution) when he expects "to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8b NKJV). Knowing of his soon-to-be-carried-out sentence of death for preaching the gospel, Paul states:

2 Timothy 4:8 – Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (NKJV)

Some things that happen to us in life are like puzzles in the early stages, things that do not make sense at the time, things that just don't fit in the picture that we have in mind. Often we ask, "What value is this circumstance to me?"

But then, after a time of struggle or stalled hopes, one thing connects with another and the picture of what God has been doing comes into perfect view! Aren't you glad that Paul helped Timothy to see the value of extolling, declaring, and living out in daily life the gospel message? Like Paul, Timothy, and countless others, we can hang in there, and as we do, we, too, will see the "big picture" and the awaiting crown of righteousness.

Prayer: Dear Lord, there are puzzling things going on in our lives from time to time. Like the apostle Paul, help us to remember Your faithfulness to Your promises. Thank You for the crown that awaits us. It is Your way of saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Accept our humble thanks for enabling us to see the fruits of our labours, some here and now, and some in the sweet by-and-by. Amen.

About the author:

Karl Csaszar <csaszar1@nb.sympatico.ca>
New Maryland, New Brunswick, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you Karl.


    Thanks Karl for sharing.


    So true!
    (B.C.)


    Never would have thought to draw a meditation from a jigsaw puzzle as much as I enjoy them. God can use anything to speak to us. Thankfully, He does.


    Hi Karl,
    Yes, indeed sometimes things are puzzling in our lives, but with faith we carry on.
    Blessings.


    Life can be a puzzle, indeed, Karl. Praise God for the affirmation in this devotional. Looking forward to the day when the entire picture is revealed with the dog-eared parts made whole by the blood of the Lamb. Blessings and many thanks for sharing.


    Good morning Karl, from Northern Ontario. Thank you for your Inspirational Devotional. An uplifting start for my day, which as always will have its share of challenges.
    May the Lord richly bless you always!


    Puzzled. Our Goddaughter owns and operates an educational toy store which includes puzzles. Her store heard about a chance to get the largest puzzle known — 33,600 pieces It came in a wooden box on wheels. I think it came sorted in 10 bags and directions.
    It took 5 months to put together with help from the people in the area. The only stipulation is it must be within regular store hours and they were to donate to the local food bank every time they came.
    The good thing is they got to know people they had never met before. I do not like puzzles but my husband gets a puzzle everyday on the internet. They Have not decided if they will do another puzzle but for now they have the largest known puzzle in the world.
    (ON)


    Dear Karl,
    Thanks for the devotional.
    I am wondering where the quotaion comes from, that you have in this sentence: “With the words in a letter from the ‘apostle of a heart set free,’ Timothy is reminded by Paul of the past adventures in his life that have led him to his incarceration.”
    May we all pray to have Paul’s attitude as shown in 2 Timothy 4:8.

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