Psalm 18. My Jig-Saw Puzzle.

Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 18. (MsgB)

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him.
When I got my act together, He gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways He works; I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.

I think it was Forrest Gump who said it this way.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get!”

Since boxes of chocolate hadn’t been invented when King David was around, life for the King of Israel seemed to be more like a beautiful piece of pottery that had been shattered to pieces. As I read Psalm 18, I believe King David saw that it was his job to gather up the pieces of his shattered life and place them carefully before his God. It was there his amazing Creator-King could take the broken pieces, restoring this valuable creation back into a useable piece of pottery once more.

For me, I like to think of my life as being a 1,000-piece jig-saw puzzle in the hands of a five-year old boy. To be honest, my Dad wanted to start me out with one of those age-appropriate 25-piece puzzles, but because of my zeal for life, (some call it stubbornness!) I insisted that God give me one of those 1,000-piece puzzles instead! God smiled and gave me what I wanted.

Now, once God had placed this 1,000 piece puzzle into my hands, a smart person would have stayed at the table with Dad and asked Him to help.

But no! Not me!

I want my independence. So I take the box off the table and began to run off to my own room where I can do it myself. The only problem is that in my zeal to get started, a tragedy occurs! As I’m running through life with the box in my hands, I trip over the rug in the middle of the room! I fall to the floor, bumping my head, and as I look up, I see my 1,000 puzzle pieces flying everywhere!

Well, you know the rest of the story. By the time I get back up, dust myself off, and start gathering up the pieces, I’m beginning to see the full picture. Because of my stubbornness to do it myself, I now have to go back to God, laying my jig-saw puzzle before Him.

Whoops, sorry Dad! Will you help me with my puzzle now? Oh, and by the way. I think there are only 859 pieces left! By now I began to see the deep compassion and wisdom of my Poppa in Heaven. Rather than scolding me or taking me to the woodshed (an old expression that means Dad is gonna beat the tar out of me for being so stupid!), Dad sits me down at His table and we begin to put the 859 pieces together.

Over time, with His help, we get an amazing amount of work accomplished. He shows me how the puzzle makes sense, even with the missing pieces not being there! He tells me how I need to put all the straight edges together first. He asks me what patterns I’m starting to see in the process. Poppa asks great questions, you know. It’s almost as if He is assembling it, but He’s preferring me to do it myself.

And then it happens. We’re stuck. Those missing 141 pieces are now in play.

So here’s the neat part. My Daddy gets up out of His chair, takes my hand and we go around the room, carefully looking for the 141 pieces that were lost. Amazingly, He and I find every piece except one. We come back to the table and by now, I’m getting pretty good at doing this thing. As King David says it, I’m watching carefully as Dad shows me the way. I’m taking notes. Learning from the Master. Maturing and growing up right there as Poppa helps me along.

But now we’re there. 999 pieces brought together. Dad and I have done it. But what about this last piece? I look to Dad and say, “I’m sorry. I’m the one who screwed this whole thing up. I’m truly sorry that I didn’t listen and do this thing the way You wanted me to do it.” Daddy smiles. He says, “I understand, son.” He reaches into His pant pockets and with a grin on His face, He says warmly, “I took one piece away before you ran off. I knew you’d eventually need some help with this, so I made sure we’d have to be together to finish this thing up. Here son, let’s put the last piece in together.” I smile. He smiles. My 1,000-piece jig-saw puzzle is now complete. Together, we’ve done it. Thanks Dad, I needed that!

My prayer: Lord, thank You that You are the One who can comprehend and assemble the 1,000-piece jig-saw puzzle called my life. I agree with King David. You are rewriting the text of my life when I open the book of my heart to Your eyes. Thank You for who You are and all that You do. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: Have I moved away from the Father’s table, taking my 1,000-piece jig-saw puzzle with me? Am I, like David; alert to God’s ways; not taking God for granted? Am I reviewing the ways He works on a daily basis; trying my best to not miss a trick?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?

Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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