Puzzles of Life

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration MinistriesFebruary 4, 20163 Minutes

“Then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.” Ecclesiastes 8:17 NKJV

John Spilsbury was looking for a way to teach world geography to children. Born in England in 1739, he developed a simple idea. Drawing on his skills as an engraver and mapmaker, he attached a world map to wood and carved each country into separate pieces.

His idea: Children would be challenged to fit the pieces together. Through the process, they would gain a greater sense of the world and national borders, and see the part played by each country.

Spilsbury’s idea became a huge commercial success, spawning the development of many types of puzzles, all based on the same concept: Breaking down whole pictures into smaller parts. Challenging participants to fit pieces together.

For more than two centuries, expert puzzle-solvers have found the process exhilarating, while others experience mostly frustration.

In many ways, these puzzles give us a picture of life itself, which can seem like a giant puzzle, created by God. Our challenge is to put these pieces together, seeking to gain a clearer understanding of the whole, while simultaneously learning how we each fit.

This is a never-ending process. For the Bible tells us that, at every stage, “our knowledge is partial and incomplete.” We never can know more than “part of the whole picture” (1 Corinthians 13:9 NLT). We even are warned that God has made it impossible for us to “find out the work that is done under the sun.”

Ultimately, this process is designed to humble us. To help us realize our limits. And to drive us to turn to God. To cry out for His wisdom. Constantly, to ask and seek.

Prayer: Father, I seek Your wisdom and direction for my life. Guide me. I commit my way to You. Thank You for directing my path. I trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.