Monday, April 19, 2010

The Puzzle Master


One of my daughters loves to put together jigsaw puzzles. The huge, challenging 2000 piece kind. I am amazed at her patience and diligence, and even more so, that she actually finds the process both fun and relaxing! For me, the process is frustrating, slow, and frankly a bit overwhelming looking at all those pieces that somehow will fit together and form something recognizable from the chaos of pieces.

My daughter starts doing the puzzle by sorting through the pieces one by one and placing them into piles of similarities. Then she begins to slowly join them together with another piece that has some of the same features but still uniquely itself. Eventually she will find the ones that fit perfectly beside it.
In time, she will have whole areas that are joined and
slowly, the puzzle begins to form into the picture on the box cover.

God is doing the same with us. As the great Puzzle Master, in diligence, patience and purpose, He is forming us into one larger picture of His Kingdom. I'm confident He is enjoying the process of putting it all together piece by piece, group by group into His finished work. He has cut and designed each of us to uniquely fit alongside other pieces and then into groups of resemblance to be joined with still other groups, and eventually into one whole.

Completely strategic and completely His to work out.


Let me give you one story from my own life that illustrates this.

In 1995 we started a 501 c(3) ministry called 'Outreach To The Nations'.
We wanted a "vehicle" of ministry that would encourage and enable people sitting "in the pews" to get out into the mission field and to use their gifts and abilities in Kingdom ministry. No superstars, few if any, professionally trained, none with flashy gifts or notoriety. Just regular, faithful, average Christians loaded with the riches of Christ to share with the world.

Our first trip was to a seminary in southern Brazil. We went down with a team of four guys and me, to do a conference on the Holy Spirit. (I could write a whole lot on what happened in that week on so many levels and topics, but I'll save that for other future blog posts. )

Suffice it say, that God showed up and did all the things He loves to do; heal physically and emotionally, grant deliverance from satanic strongholds, bring conviction of sin resulting in repentance, offer salvation and new life, and to call, empower and release into Kingdom service.

It was powerful, supernatural, incredible, and oh so much fun!

Many students touched and changed as a result of this week, invited us to bring ministry teams to their home regions of Brazil when they graduated from the seminary. I did take teams to a few different areas and had fruitful ministry, but one area proved to be the puzzle piece I was meant to be connected to above the others. It had "perfect fit" written all over it.
I have been going back to this particular region of northern Brazil with teams since 1995, planting people into the Kingdom of God and coming alongside Brazilians in their ministry callings.
Disciples have been made, churches of fellowship formed and established, training, mentoring, equipping, strengthening and encouragement of the work of God have all come from many years of ministry working alongside one Brazilian man that is more than just a "ministry contact". He is closer to my heart than any earthly brother, and we are completely fitted to each other in what we are called to do, and do together. We don't speak the same language or come from the same culture or environment. And yet, we "get" each other and work side by side in union and fruitfulness. It really is a manifestation of the Puzzle Master, working out His purposes in the bigger Kingdom puzzle. Fitting and knitting His pieces together.


When we do see the Puzzle Master's Hand in our life and the strategic connections made for divine purpose, it's encouraging and exciting! We all want to be counted in the larger purposes of God and that is what we were created for.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:9-11

The longer I live, the more I am awed by this act of the sovereign formation of His Church, His Bride, His Body. Jesus said, " I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail over it". He is certainly is "doing the work of My Father" even now on earth as He places us in His strategic places of connection. This gives me great encouragement and strength as a lowly little puzzle piece with only limited views of the bigger puzzle formation.


3 comments:

  1. Great post, Katie.

    You know God is behind something when (1) it doesn't make sense from our own perspective (2) when we find that unexpected "fit".

    This is so that none of us may boast!

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  2. Loved the reminder of the analogy of The Puzzle Master. Good stuff!

    ReplyDelete