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THE PUZZLE OF A NEW YEAR
(7 January 2019)


I guess you have done a puzzle at some point in your life.

First, you tip out all the pieces from the box on to a flat surface. Then you put them all face-up. Next, you select all the pieces that go on the edge of the puzzle. Arrange the corner pieces in a square and connect them with the rest of the edge pieces. Now you put the centrepieces together inside the frame you have created. Keep working until you are done and the puzzle looks like the picture on the box.

That is if you have all the pieces and there arenít any missing.

I was thinking about puzzles when I prayed about the New Year.

Every year is like a puzzle.

There are 525600 (minutes in a year) pieces that you need to put together to get the full picture.

Some of those pieces are colourful and pretty. These are the pieces you put together when things are going well.

There are also some pieces that are dull. These are the mundane things we do on a regular basis, like cooking, the laundry, and the dishes. They arenít exciting but are necessary for daily living.

Some of the pieces are only one colour, and it could be a little confusing to figure out which piece goes where. You put these pieces together when you face problems of some kind.

And then there are pieces that donít seem to fit anywhere until the puzzle is almost done. Whenever you have to deal with something really difficult or heartbreaking, you put together these pieces. You donít understand their purpose until it is all over and you look back and realise, ĎOh, now I see! I see how I have grown. I see how I have learned to lean on the Lord. I see the good that came from it, even though it didnít look like much good could come from it while it was happening.í

Every minute of every day is a puzzle piece the Lord places in our hands. And little by little, piece by piece, we put the puzzle together until we reach the end of the year. And when we look back, we see the full picture in all its glory.

We see the beauty and the hardship. We see everything we did with ease as well as those things that were more difficult. We see al the people God used to help us put together our puzzle. And we see how He used us to help others put together theirs.

And we know the picture is beautiful because God was part of it.

Next year, God will give us a new puzzle, and we will all begin assembling our own puzzles again until we are done at the end of the year.

And every time we will look back and realise we didnít know what the picture looks like when we began, but it turned out just as it was meant to.