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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


The Jigsaw Puzzle

A family had a hobby of putting together jigsaw puzzles. The father regularly brought home puzzles of greater and greater difficulty. One night he presented his family with a puzzle of over two thousand pieces. Immediately they tackled it. After an hour, however, the family was frustrated. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get the puzzle started.

The father then discovered that he had accidentally switched the box top with the top from another puzzle. The picture they were looking at wasn't the puzzle they were working on.  We may get frustrated sometimes with God because He doesn't live up to the expectations we have of Him. Sometimes we feel frustrated with the church because it doesn't match up with the ideal church that we have in mind. We're often frustrated with others because they fall short of expectations that we have of them.

Perhaps we should consider whether the problem in all these cases is that we are basing our expectations on a distorted view — of God or of the church or of others. Perhaps our expectations are unrealistic and can never be realized because we've been looking at the picture on the wrong box top.
We may also feel frustrated with ourselves because we don't believe we live up to what others want from us or even what we think God wants from us. More often than not, though, our problem is trying to make ourselves into someone else's image or change ourselves to fit someone else's standards for us. God created us each to be different. We all have our own "box-top picture," and the only way we can ever be successful in life is to be ourselves, allowing God to use us just the way we are.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward