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….to be conformed to the image of his Son.–Romans 8:28
I love to work puzzles, and I love to see how all those bizarre-looking pieces come together to make a beautiful picture. Each time I work a puzzle, the process amazes me. I’ll pick up an orange and black splotchy piece and wonder, “What is this? Is it a shadow over in this corner by the trees? Is it the sun’s reflection in this bubbling stream?” The piece, all by itself, looks like a mistake–a terrible, ugly extra that got thrown into the wrong puzzle box. But as each of those odd-shaped, peculiarly-colored pieces begin to connect, I’m able to see the bigger picture taking shape. Eventually, the orange/black splotch finds its home in a patch of wildflowers by the stream. And suddenly, what seemed like such an ugly mistake, adds unmistakable beauty to the finished picture.
Our lives are often the same way. We waste so much time analyzing the little pieces of our lives that don’t make sense, that we forget to look at the “picture on the box,” God’s Word. God has told us what the big picture will look like–why your loved one has cancer, why your child is going through a time of testing your authority, why that car did have to break down on this day of all days. The big picture that God is piecing together is the image of Christ. We don’t recognize how each of the trials and tests during a day is creating that image, but God promises it’s for our good. Each of those ugly splotches are fitting together to take your sin-wrecked life and craft it into the divine image of Christ.