meadowrueflowerOne of my favorite publications is Just Thinking, the quarterly (free) magazine published by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. If you aren’t familiar with Ravi, and you’re interested in an intelligent conversation about the Christian faith (and there are plenty of unintelligent conversations out there), check him out.

The magazine’s feature article this spring is about how we make sense of the world. “Like when we’re doing a jigsaw, if we want to see the big picture we don’t need every piece of the puzzle,” contributor Alex McLellan writes. “All we need is enough important parts that stand out and fit together.”

In my experience, anyone who claims to have every piece of the puzzle is filling it in with his or her own custom cutouts anyway. That is, it may work for him or her in that moment but isn’t likely to contribute to the integrated whole as it relates to the larger picture.

Those who are open-minded to the existence of God, McLellan says, are more likely to sense something greater is going on. Like when your spouse loses a job. Or someone you dearly love is gravely sick. Or life isn’t coming together the way you’d planned.

Those last three statements are mine. But instead of simply gazing at the stars and wondering, “Is anybody out there?” McLellan says we can make sense of the world by refusing to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problems around us.

Instead, he encourages, “Take baby steps toward finding the solution. Think big by starting small.”

Right now my puzzle is scattered in a thousand pieces. Nothing seems to make sense. But I am holding onto the hope that there is a solution. That by walking with God, he will lead me and my family to it. And that sometimes those steps are very, very small. Like making cookies, which is not a bad step when you don’t know what else to do and tastes very, very good.

Or as this poem, sent to me this week by someone at my church, so wisely counsels.

Wait patiently wait,
God never is late;
Thy budding plans are in Thy Father’s holding,
And only wait His grand divine unfolding.
Then wait, wait,
Patiently wait.
Trust, hopefully trust,
That God will adjust
Thy tangled life; and from its dark concealings,
Will bring His will, in all its bright revealings.
Then trust, trust,
Hopefully trust.
Rest, peacefully rest
On thy Saviour’s breast;
Breathe in His ear thy sacred high ambition,
And He will bring it forth in blest fruition.
Then rest, rest,
Peacefully rest!
–Mercy A. Gladwin

I may not see the full picture, but rather than jamming in my own inventions, I trust–in time–the pieces will come together.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,” Psalm 130:5-6.

What do you think?