Monday, April 20, 2015

A New Adventure Pt. 12- Puzzle Pieces

                I like puzzles, I always have. Put a puzzle in front of me and I will spend hours doing it. There is something about looking at the picture on the front of the box and trying to figure out how all these little pieces on the table in front of me will fit together to replicate that picture that just intrigues me to no end. While I am working on the puzzle, however, not all the pieces make sense. They look like they fit, but no matter what I do, some pieces just don’t belong and I have to keep trying till I find the right fit. But eventually, when I sit back and look at the finished product,  every little piece makes perfect sense and the finished product looks just like the picture on the front of the box.
             I have a dream, a vision- a picture on the front of a puzzle box of what the finish line of this new adventure will look like. But right now, all that I see in front of me is a bunch of pieces that just don’t make any sense. If you have been walking with me on this journey you will know that we are trying to build and establish our pet care company. We currently provide pet care services in our area, and over the years it has grown from just me doing it as a favor for friends and family, to an actual business that is making a steady profit. However, we have currently outgrown our current capabilities and we need to expand. We need to build a place for us to run the business and to provide the type of care that we have dreamed about. Our picture on the front of our puzzle box is a Hotel for dogs.
                I have a picture in my head of what the building will look like, the landscape and all the amenities too. I can see the front of my puzzle box just fine. However, all that is in front of me is a bunch of puzzle pieces and the big question, “How is this all going to fit together”? We are all working towards something; a goal, a dream, a vision that God has placed on our hearts. We have been following the steps that He has laid before us and we have not wandered off our paths, well, not too far anyway. We have persevered and pressed on when we wanted to give up. We have prayed, and perhaps even fasted through doubts, and discouragement. We are waiting patiently for the promise of God to be revealed in us. We are waiting for the pieces of our puzzle to fit together.
                One of our biggest obstacles at this stage in our adventure is financing. We have no idea how we are going to come up with the money to do what God is showing us to do. We have no idea how we are going to replicate the picture on our puzzle boxes. The thought of it all is overwhelming to say the least. But then, I remember that even though the pieces don’t make sense doesn’t mean they won’t fit. Nehemiah, I believe could relate to what we are experiencing right now. He too was staring at a bunch of puzzle pieces and trying to find a way to make them all fit. When we left Nehemiah he was getting his ducks in a row. God had laid it on his heart to take a census, to gather up the information needed to build the houses for the people of Jerusalem. He had a pile of puzzle pieces too, until the Lord put them all into place.

                “Now, some of the heads of fathers’ houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics of gold, 50 basins, 30 priests’ garments and 500 minas of silver. And some of the heads of fathers’ houses gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. And what the rest of the people gave was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver, and 67 priests’ garments. So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, and some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns. And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns.”
Nehemiah 7:70-73 (ESV)
                Here we have Nehemiah being obedient and faithful to do all that God has called him to do. He has the pieces of the puzzle laid out, but it is God who makes them all fit together. Our God is our provider. He is our Jehovah Jirah. When I read these words of the governors, and the peoples giving not only money, but supplies and resources as well, I was reminded of the words of Paul in Philippians 4:19. 
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)
                I cannot even count the ways that God has provided for me and my family over the years. Over and over again, standing before a pile of puzzle pieces, not sure where each one went or fit into the puzzle, my God has been faithful and put them all in their place for me. He has never and will never leave me with a missing piece. He will complete the puzzle that is before me, just like He promised. He will provide for all our needs.
                Nehemiah was doing what God asked him to do. He was faithful and obedient to take the steps God had placed before Him. He didn’t wonder or worry how all the pieces were going to fit together, he just trusted that God who set him on this journey would also supply him with every need that would arise. He trusted that God, who was faithful to keep his feet on the path, was also faithful to supply the resources needed to walk the path.
                God has not brought you this far to leave you with missing pieces. We have to be faithful in what He is calling us to do, yes. But I think it is also important for us to remember that His provision is not dependent upon our faithfulness, but on His. Paul tells us that God will supply all our needs according to His riches. God’s riches are not only earthly wealth; they are His goodness, His mercy, His wisdom. His riches are who He is. God has brought you this far, He did not hand you all the pieces to this puzzle so that you could not finish it. He has given you the picture and the all the pieces, trust that He will make them all fit together too.

                At the beginning of chapter 7 the city had no homes, no buildings, just a wall that was finished. The pieces of Nehemiah’s dream were scattered all over in the ruins of the homes and the city. But God was faithful and supplied everything he needed to replicate the picture on the front of his box. By the end of chapter 7 not only do we see God providing all the financial help, the supplies and the resources, but we also see that the people were in their homes. “So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns. And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns.” (Nehemiah 7:73) Trust that your God who has brought you this far, will provide you with all your needs too, and trust that soon all these pieces of the puzzle will one day match the picture on the front of your box. Amen.