Posted by: karanoel | April 5, 2011

Puzzle pieces of surrender

What I’m about to tell you is true. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only one seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

Our last Wysucky puzzle

In our home, we do puzzles once a year; usually when my brother and sister-in-law visit from Colorado. We go to the garage, pull out a puzzle fashioned after a painting by Wysocki (or, Wysucky, as Michael calls him), dump out the contents, and start our nightly social gathering. This goes on for a week or so until the image is complete. Or until we agree that the other 500 puzzle pieces of snow aren’t as crucial to the composition as the artist may have thought.

During my time of surrender last week, I got to thinking about puzzle pieces. So often, in this life of faith, we don’t get to see the front of the box. Instead, God will hand us a piece when we’re ready – maybe one with variations of blue with beige in the corner and a dot of red. My tendency is to assign meaning to that piece like, say, the sea in late afternoon with my red toenail in the soft sand. And then to build a whole image around it, complete with beach house, loving friends, happy children, and maybe a playful pod of dolphins. You get the picture.

The problem with this method is that I’m determined to live my life by God’s design; the front of the box he painted when he made me. If I want to see what is perfect and true, anything I’ve added – or any meaning I’ve attached that is not a pure representation of the design – needs to be removed. Both the true and the false can be seen only with spiritual eyes; through revelation that is given as needed, which really comes down to listening to God and being honest with myself. The next step is releasing my deathgrip on that piece of sea and the beautiful images I’ve built around it.

Having been through this heart-wrenching process at least a few times, I kind of thought I knew the drill. But today, oh Lord almighty. Today God wasn’t asking for one area of my life like he has in the past. No, today he was asking for the whole thing. All of me. Every single piece of the puzzle – even the ones he’d already given me and that he himself had put in place. As rivers poured from my eyes, he asked if I would give him every hope, dream, and desire. If I would trust him with the treasures of my heart. If I would lay each one down, like Isaac on the altar, knowing it might be the death of everything that matters to me. I could hardly face the thought of it and felt like it might break me, but grace pierced my emotions and overtook my heart.

Yes. The answer is yes. I will trust him. It still hurts to say because it is costly and I know it. But everything I know of God is good. He has never failed me. He has never harmed me. He has never forsaken me. He has never betrayed my trust. Not once. Ever. So I walk forward in joyful trembling, knowing that the picture he is establishing will be a pure reflection of his very image. What more could a girl want?


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