It is many years since I last did a jigsaw puzzle. However, the other week I sat down over a couple of days and did a jigsaw puzzle. It wasn’t a huge one…it was just a 500-piece puzzle. Or, should I say, a 499-piece puzzle!
Yes, that’s right, there was a piece missing! Not just any piece, either, but one of the corner pieces!
It was rather frustrating….when all the other pieces were in place the eye was naturally drawn to the space where the missing piece should have been. Instead of looking at the picture with a sense of satisfaction and achievement, it was as though the puzzle was mocking me. Without that final piece in place, it had not been mastered, nor could it be!
Yes, I looked high and low for that one piece, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. And, of course, I didn’t feel that the puzzle was complete without that missing piece.
Now, life is not a puzzle, of course, but this little experience of mine did highlight some similarities. You know, regardless of how everything else in our lives fits together, there is often something that we feel is missing.
And without this “missing piece” we just don’t feel satisfied, or complete.
It might be that we think more money will complete our life picture. Or a better career. Maybe our missing piece is a person we want to share life with. Or it might be that our missing piece is a person we have lost. Perhaps it is something else that we want, but don’t have.
No matter what it is, most of us have a missing piece in our lives and, regardless of everything else, our mind’s eye only sees that which is not there.
So we feel incomplete. Frustrated. Cheated.
And this empty, frustrating feeling of being incomplete and inadequate is only further compounded when we compare ourselves with others who, of course, all seem to have all their pieces in place. That’s just salt in the wound, isn’t it?
(Truth is, they’re probably looking for their own missing pieces, too!)
You see, I reckon that we will never get to the stage where we have everything that we want. To be honest, I don’t think that is the point and purpose of life anyhow. After all, history is littered with examples of those who seemingly had everything….power, possessions, prosperity, position…and yet they were still desperately sad and incomplete.
I like what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13:
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
In essence, Paul is saying that our happiness is not dependent upon finding all those “missing pieces” that we want, and think we need.
Instead, he is saying that our lack of happiness and joy in life is because of a “missing peace”.
And that peace is not found in anything, or anyone, other than in “Him who gives me strength”.
Who is Paul referring to?
The only way we can have this “missing peace” in our lives is through Jesus Christ.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that He would be called the Prince of Peace.
Jesus, Himself, said (John 16:33): “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
As life flows on and the years tick over (ever too quickly), may I encourage you to find the missing peace for your life!
Only then will you have contentment and completeness. It is a peace that is deep and lasting, nothing like the shallow and transient peace of the world.
This year, may you and I, may we….allow the Prince of Peace to reign in and through our lives.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Oh, and if you happen to find a missing jigsaw corner piece, give me a call!