Welcome 2022 Wow! Celebrating the holidays mid-January with my family was so delightful but now January is bowling into February with a striking crash!
Before we plow into the cascading snows or Valentine hearts of the coming month I’d like to recognize, one more time, the season of gift-giving.
It never is the brilliantly wrapped packages, the size or expense, that cheers my heart to trumpeting heights. Like many, it isn’t even the gifts that make the season so special. For as the years march on, it becomes more evident that things in packages are not the items at the top of my wish list.
So as the months of 2022 unfold, I resolve to continue the season of gift giving. Focusing on the most valuable and intangible gifts:
Time, available, unmeasured, unhurried. A listening ear. A helping hand. An understanding smile. A kind word. Eyes that seek for good. A heart eager to forget offenses. Love, selfless and unrestrained. Hugs in times of joy or through sorrow’s shadows. Cheers for attempts. Thanksgiving for success. Songs of beauty for the minute and mammoth.
Beneficiaries: Family, friends, the many we pass each day on streets, in stores, in travels, or neighborhood.
So, may gift-giving abound, to all and in each day of the year!
“I’m missing a piece!” My plaintive cry resounds through the empty kitchen.
You’d think a brand new puzzle would not have a missing piece! But somehow it has happened, and I will have to write the company to tell them of the mishap in their production.
I certainly didn’t lose the piece! The puzzle rests undisturbed on the kitchen table, just like the other 36 puzzles I completed during virus lock down.
And, I know this piece is missing, because only green palm trees, brown tree trunks, and blue sky pieces are left.
My missing piece belongs next to the octopus. It is the color of sand. I’ve touched each piece I have left and there is no plain, sandy-colored piece!
I imagined a beautiful puzzle, now going to be incomplete.
What a shame, I lamented to myself!
All anyone will be able to look at is that one blank spot.
It will never be beautiful.
It will never be perfect, I thought.
The missing piece was the last lesson this jigsaw puzzle had for me.
But we argued from the beginning.
“I can’t do this! It’s too hard!” I had whined when frame pieces wouldn’t connect, and every piece looked the same.
I’d stab around, listlessly poking pieces at each other, until, “Hey, what do you know? That fit!”
Jigsaw lesson #1:
Don’t give up.
I can do all things through Christ.
The piece with the cluster of coconuts fit snugly in the center of a palm tree. It looked good. Its color and shape said I was right. But then the remaining pieces, did not connect, no matter how hard I tried to cram them together.
“Faulty puzzle,” I moaned to myself.
The puzzle and I were at a stand-off.
This forced me to reexamine my choice.
Hmm, just maybe…
I removed the ‘for sure’ piece and surprise! The piece I thought fit, ‘for sure’, was wrong. It had to come out before the correct piece could go in, that is, of course, if I wanted the puzzle picture to turn out correctly.
Jigsaw lesson #2:
I must take the wrong piece out, before the right piece can get in.
In life situations, if I hold onto unforgiveness, love will never get a chance in.
But if I let go of unforgiveness, there will be room for the truly best piece, love.
I Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails.
Which brings me to my last jigsaw lesson.
The lesson of the piece I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, was missing.
I knew it wasn’t there.
I’d looked and looked.
I picked up this piece.
Hmm, this piece couldn’t be the right one. Look at that little cloud. My missing piece is just a plain, sandy-colored piece….
Jigsaw lesson #3:
You don’t know. Even when you are so sure. You don’t know how something that seems impossible, something you know won’t work out, something that could never be good again, could never be perfect…
When you put your trust in God.
The “impossible” can happen.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing will be impossible.
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