Here we sat, stuck in the house, marooned on Winkle Island, both sorely lacking any measurable amount of energy, recovering from a wicked virus that put one of us in the hospital and knocked the other off her feet for days. What to do to pass the time and break the boredom? Hey, didn’t we recently purchase a new Christmas puzzle? After clearing the coffee table and breaking open the seal on the puzzle, we set about the task of assembling this one-thousand piece challenge.
We have enjoyed puzzles for years, taking them on vacation with us, taking pride in the fact that we could assemble one in a matter of days. But not long after embarking on this adventure, we knew that this particular puzzle was going to be a daunting challenge. The pieces were teeny-tiny, the artwork was detailed, and the colors were similar, making it hard to distinguish where that one piece fit into the whole. Slowly, piece by piece, the puzzle finally began to make sense, to fit together into a work of art, a thing of subtle beauty.
It wasn’t until the puzzle was well on its way to completion that God made the spiritual application to my confused heart. Permit me to regress and paint of picture of the Winkle household as of late. Life has been like those random puzzle pieces for a few weeks now. After being careful and tediously cautious to avoid being exposed to the 2020 bug, we began to suffer the early symptoms of Covid. Within days, our fevers were raging, my husband was hospitalized with pneumonia, and life was looking extremely bleak. What was God planning for us this holiday season?
When my husband was finally discharged from the hospital, we were hopeful that the worst was behind us. After challenging my technical skills and connecting the hospital monitor that was sent home with us as a routine precaution, perhaps we could salvage some of Christmas, ending this dreadful year with a smile. But the puzzle was about to become more complex. To my dismay, within hours of setting up the monitor, we were summoned back to the emergency room due to the information transmitted by that device. I came to the bleak realization that this was going to be a very different Christmas. No grandchildren would be romping through the house, no Christmas feast was going to be shared with my precious children, the daughter my heart was longing to see face to face would not be making the trek home. There would be no Christmas hugs, no catching up with each other’s lives, no taking pictures, no making of sweet memories. My husband of forty-five years would be once again hospitalized, only this time with a cardiac situation. The puzzle pieces of our lives seemed fuzzy and blurred, and God’s peace was difficult to grasp. We were eventually told that my husband had experienced several cardiac episodes and would be receiving a pacemaker in the morning. What was God doing now? Hadn’t we been through enough for one month? But as I sat in our secluded emergency room, the picture slowly came into focus
I get it now, dear Father. If we hadn’t become infected with that dreadful virus, if my husband had not been hospitalized, if the heart monitor would not have been sent home with us out of precaution, that underlying heart issue he had would have remained undiscovered and silent, possible claiming his life as its victim. The pieces of the puzzle were fitting together, and what a glorious picture of a Father’s love and grace it was! Peace had returned as I saw a vivid picture God of working all things together for the good of his precious children, even if the individual pieces made little sense to me.
This year has taken a toll on all of us. Some have lost loved ones, some have faced financial distress and loss of employment, some have suffered the side effects of seclusion, some have been physically devastated and emotionally drained. But as His child, as an object of His grace, I have this consolation: my Father is all-knowing, all-wise, and above all, extremely loving. He sees the entire picture that is my life. I may become frustrated because I do not see how the pieces fit together, but from His throne, He does, and I can rest in His loving hands. So can you!
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
PS…puzzle has been completed and makes perfect sense now…how wonderful to look upon our lives from God’s point of view!
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