As I surveyed my busy calendar and updated my never-ending to-do list recently, I was reminded of how not very long ago we were scrambling to find activities that could occupy our time. All the unknowns of a global pandemic and the ever-changing advice from the “experts” left most of us in a fog of informational overload and drove us into the isolation of our own personal bubbles. But as we are hopefully turning the corner and putting COVID-19 in our rearview mirrors, I can’t help but to miss the simplicity and the unplanned respite it brought about. Good or bad, like it or not, we were all forced to slow down and to take life one day at a time. For many of us it sharpened our prayers, as desperate situations often do, as we called out to God for understanding and protection and comfort. He continued to show up, and still does, day after day, providing all of that and more, as only our perfect Heavenly Father could.
One of the things I really miss about the extended quarantine during the tumultuous year of 2020 is our family puzzle time. My mom had given us an OSU puzzle in the shape of a football helmet, and because of its odd shape, and the repetition of the school’s colors of scarlet and gray, in various shades I might add, it literally took us weeks to complete. We would spend a little time here and there, only finding a piece or two, and move on to something else. Occasionally, one of us would find a key piece and we’d hoot and holler as if we had just found a gold nugget or something. We loved seeing how the connecting pieces around it would soon fall into place.
The puzzle building reminds me of how much we, as the Body of Christ, are a lot like those puzzle pieces. Very few were straight and clean with nice symmetrical edges. Most were curvy and choppy and odd shaped. But when configured correctly, the pieces fit perfectly together, combining to create a masterful work of art. Well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration in the case of the puzzle, but not so when it comes to those who choose to follow Him.
Blaise Pascal first referred to the idea that eventually became recognized as a “God-shaped hole” that’s inside each one of us that only God can fill. Not money, nor power, nor people, nor “stuff” of any kind. Simply put, only God can fill us with the life that we so desperately crave. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
What an incomprehensible gift He offers us – – A rich, full LIFE! And now that He has ascended to the Father and is preparing a place for us to spend eternity, He desires for us to connect together, just as the puzzle pieces do, into a single cohesive unit. There is a “YOU-shaped hole” in the Body of Christ that is just perfect for you to fill. I hope and pray you accept His invitation to participate and receive the abundant life He has to offer!
~ Pastor Mitch