The Puzzle of Life

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Life is a puzzle

1000-piece or 100-piece jigsaw puzzle. Can you picture them? One is a labor of love, the other a quick and easy problem to solve, unless you’re a toddler who needs a 5-piece puzzle.

Ever been stymied by one of those grand gazillion piece jigsaw puzzles? Finding and assembling all the straight edge pieces – and oh joy – a corner piece – to get started is your initial strategy as you tackle the challenge. Diligent sorting of all the blue sky and green grass follows. Piece by precious piece, the puzzle is slowly assembled and the picture emerges as the problem is solved.

Have you ever thought about our spiritual maturity like a puzzle?

Where do I start, Lord?
Can I even see “the picture”?
Where are “the straight edge pieces” to outline this?
Do I start with a 5-piece puzzle or am I ready to graduate to a “larger” one?

As our minds mature in God’s Word, our hands also become more adept at assembling – and applying – the pieces of His puzzle to our lives and those we intersect. Putting into place, we progress – or is it more accurate to say process (?!) – this life we live. Then we encounter a roadblock. There’s a piece missing…

What next, Lord?
Where do I look, Lord?
How do I do this, Lord?
Who do I to turn to for help, Lord?

I need you, Lord, to guide me through this puzzle called life.

Holding my hand
So I can take the next step

Feeding and filling me with Your Word
So I can share it with others

Loving me – missing pieces and all
So I can love others in spite of their “missing pieces”

They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words. Luke 24:4-8 (The Message)


The chief of the Temple police and the high priests were puzzled. “What’s going on here anyway?” Acts 5:24 (The Message)

Even Jesus’ disciples, the Temple police and the high priests were puzzled and encountered missing pieces. Yet we wonder what’s going on and are challenged when it takes time for us to process and proceed with this puzzle we call life!

One piece of my life puzzle looks like a magnificent Indian-summer Friday afternoon in October. I arrived home about 4 pm after being gone for work all week that week and the previous 5 weeks.

Sunshine streamed into the kitchen as 4-year-old Kyle raced into the room, latched his little boy arms tightly around my leg, and lifted his sun-kissed face to mine as his long-lashed, dark-green eyes peered up to my aqua blue eyes. He simply said, “I loss you, Momma.”

My heart melted as we collapsed into a puddle of tears, hugs and kisses. I had lost so much time with him and Matt, my then 6-year-old son, and my precious husband Holt. Yet I did not realize or recognize then what I know now…how much people matter.

Fast-forward 16 years later to a beautiful spring day. Sunshine streamed in as Holt and I shopped at our favorite statuary shop for a garden trellis. Oh the plans to beautify that area of the yard…

The phone rang and our world collapsed into a pile of tears, sobs and chaos as Matt wailed Kyle died last night. The garden would have to wait as grief gripped our souls, engraving an indelible loss into our lives. Forever changed.

I “loss” you, too, Kyle. One missing piece of my life. Yet, I know where you are because I know Whose you are.

Thank You, God. I found You…

And Kyle. In Your holy presence.

And thank you, Kelly Balarie, for sharing this post with your readers.  You bless me – and so many others – with your lovely words.  HUGS!  You can find Kelly’s blog at PurposefulFaith.

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8 thoughts on “The Puzzle of Life

  1. Way to bring tears to a girl’s eyes! Susan you are so right. We “loss” things, people, places, our way so many times in life but the Truth remains…we still have Jesus and He IS the missing piece we need in every situation.
    Love you friend <3

  2. Beautifully written, Susan. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. My heart aches just thinking about it. But I loved what you said, “I know where you are because I know Whose you are.” Yes, those we no longer have here on earth can be found – we just need to remember where to look for them. Thanks for the reminder that we can draw near to our “lost” loved ones by drawing near to the Father.

  3. Susan, this is beautiful. I’m so sad for your loss and my heart grieves for the pain you go through. I cannot imagine it. It’s every mother’s worst fear. And yet you are here, as God holds you up, inspiring others to look to our Lord for that same strength. It’s deeply touching. Jesus is our missing piece. Thank you!

  4. Susan, thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for this loss you experienced in your life. I read this and am reminded that you are absolutely correct, life is like a puzzle. We run around trying to find the pieces, and sometimes we even try to make pieces fit where they don’t belong. All for the sake of keeping up the pace and we unintentionally forget about the moment we are living. Really, that’s all that matters. Tomorrow is not promised and yesterday is gone. I appreciate your story and the reminder about how much people matter.

  5. Susan, this is a beautiful post. I never thought of our spiritual life journey as a puzzle. I’m sorry for your loss, and rejoice with you your Kyle is safe with God, hanging out in the Kingdom waiting your arrival. Praise the Lord we have that hope. Blessings to you my friend.

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