The Big Puzzle of Life.
A few months ago, I was tempted to buy a big puzzle featuring a collection of pictures of all the animals of Africa put together by Charlotte Firbank-King. Thinking that once finished, the picture would fit in nicely with our other pictures of wildlife on the walls of the staircase, I decided to buy it. Coming home with it, I considered that if I put the puzzle away, it would probably never get done; I decided to get started on it straight away. On opening the box, my heart sank to my shoes. I was looking at 1500 small pieces that I knew must eventually give me the framed 60×90 cm picture…..I realized that this was going to be a BIG job. Indeed, it took weeks of spending a few hours every day and sometimes feeling very frustrated if a day went by not finding any pieces that fitted. You can imagine that it was quite messy with all the pieces lying around and me therefore always trying to bring order in the chaos by looking at the colours and forms of the pieces. For a very long time I was not being able to find the head of the giraffe…..
At some stage, as the work progressed, I realized that my big puzzle here in Pretoria was of course still very, very small compared to the Puzzle of Life, that is: God’s Creation. Indeed, in reflecting on his own life, the famous physicist Isaac Newton – who was able to understand and write down the laws of gravitation for us – once said: “I just went to the beach and played with a few pebbles”. He just realised how much there still was that he did not understand or had not yet investigated. Some of you might know that as a hobby I looked at the physical aspects of our weather. I was amazed to find the number of intricacies involved in keeping our earth’s temperature in a certain range, so that life, as we know it, would be possible. Looking at the smallest in matter and looking at the wonders and the incalculable greatness of the universe, I am sure you and me can only marvel as to exactly what laws and particular relevant formulae are holding it all together.
Every day when I looked at my puzzle, I became strangely aware, that, just like my puzzle was not yet finished, so God’s Creation is also not yet finished. Jesus came into the picture 2000 years ago to show us what God is like: God is Love and Grace. He gave His own life for us and at that point we all became a part of his Picture, for sure! Each one of us has a role to play, no matter how big or small. Love is the source of our enthusiasm, optimism and creativity. Yes, there are still many more people to be born, and yes, there are still many more things to find out and laws to understand. I remember that whenever I was able to finish one of the 80(!) animals in my puzzle, I became so excited noticing how the pieces all fitted together enabling me to see all its details… Then I thought: that it is how it is in the Big Puzzle of Life: sometimes we do get a glimpse of the part that we all played in God’s Creation and how we fit into the big picture… As the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 13:12: ‘For now we see only [a reflection] as in a mirror [dimly], but then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known’
The last time we visited the safe home for children here in Pretoria, that Heart for Children is supporting, I was almost moved to tears by the love of the children shown to us after we had brought each child a lucky packet. I felt privileged that we are to be able to help Jochi there with a steady income for her home…. God is doing His work through Heart for Children by all the homes that are being sponsored through all of you here and in the Netherlands who are supporting Heart for Children!!
Many years ago, during the years when I did prison ministry (letter writing & visiting), I used to tell the prisoners:
God never makes mistakes. He does not make misfits. He has a plan and a purpose with each one of us, His children. The interesting part of living is to find out what God’s plan and purpose for our life is. Just think of a few biblical figures like Joseph and Paul. If it were not for them having been in prison, where would we be today? Through the imprisonment of one man, Joseph, a whole nation was saved from starvation (see Gen. 45:5-8). The apostle Paul wrote all his letters to the believers from prison. Imagine the New Testament without Paul’s letters! (see Phil.1:12-14).
If you are interested you can read that first letter to a prisoner by clicking on the link below
Nobody can imagine how beautiful the Big Puzzle of Life is, that God is still busy building. Nobody will be able to see it, of course, until it is finished! [That would be when life on earth ends or when our life ends, whichever comes first. The amount of time that went by before and after our lives doesn’t really matter, does it?]
However, maybe sometimes our own charities, creations and creative work that we are doing here on earth to glorify our Creator, may just give us a tiny indication of how beautiful it will be when His Creation is finished.
“The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord” Psalm 24:1