Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Puzzle in the hands of God©

I’ve always enjoyed a good puzzle. There’s something about watching the pieces come together to form it’s picture that gives you a sense of accomplishment. It’s rewarding to watch the segments fall into place.

A few years back I bought a 1,000 piece puzzle and brought it home for the children and I to work. As we dumped the pieces onto the table a daunting task lay before us. Could we put it all together? It became a contest to see who could put the most sections together. Mountains, fields of flowers, blue skies and clouds made up the scenery.

At the onset it was easy. We placed the edges together first setting up the exterior frame. Once the frame was in place the difficulty of matching up the rest of the pieces came into play. The greatest challenge was the solid blue sky and the field of flowers. We began to wonder if we would ever find the pieces that would fit. At times we wanted to give up. But there was something about seeing our puzzle’s completion that kept us persevering till the end.

Victory came the day the last piece was entered into the picture. Fields of flowers had been matched, mountain tops displayed, blue skies conquered. Every piece had found it’s place. It felt good, really good.

Life has felt a bit like that lately, since God started awakening my heart to my reality. I am a new creation. The old me has been crucified with Christ.

Sometimes I feel as if I am in between two worlds. Much is being restructured in my life as I walk away from trying to make the old me better. I’m learning to embrace that I am already made new. In these last few years I’ve come to understand that God is crazy about me, just as I am. It’s been quite the paradigm shift from the religious order of things.

Years of discrepancies had been pounded into my head. Old Covenant teachings had been mixed with New Covenant realities. The two don’t mix you know. One was fulfilled by the order of the other. No longer is my walk with God about what I do. It’s now about what has been done for me. No longer do I have to make who I was better. I get to start over and live in what’s already true about me. I am the completed Christ in Julie.

Sometimes the two worlds collide and I find myself wondering which way is the right way? What’s really true about me? I so desperately want to see myself in the new creation that God has made in me. Yet so often the old, programming finds it’s way in making things a bit confusing.

It’s then God reminds me of how perfectly He has cut each of the pieces that make up my life. He tells me that it’s not up to me to figure out what this crucified life looks like. It’s His to open the eyes of my understanding to reveal the truest things about me. He’s got each piece in His hands. His Spirit which dwells inside will make all things known.

I am taking baby steps into my reality. I am learning how to live all over again. For I am new. If it were not so, the Spirit of the living God could not dwell in me. But it is true, therefore He can and does. All that was required of me through the law is fulfilled. I am forever free from the shame that has blanketed my soul.

As far as the east is from the west are my sins and the sins of others removed from my life. No longer does my sin stand between God and me. Jesus now stands beside me with His arm wrapped around my shoulders. We now look at my sin together. He waits to show me a better way. He loves me into what has always been true.

I am being reconstructed, one piece at a time. The best news of all is that I no longer have to figure out where the segments fit. It is the work of His Spirit.

He who formed every piece is placing them one by one right where they belong. In the process He unveils the scenery that makes up my heart. Little by little I am becoming who I was always made to be. I am learning to live anew.

©copyrighted: Julie L. Todd; 2010


Cindy said... Reply to comment

You are so very many steps ahead of me girlfriend. I still have trouble with the 'He's crazy about me' part.
I'm so thankful that God is continuing His journey with you and I also rejoice in hearing the latest adventure!!
You bless my heart!

Kelly said... Reply to comment

Julie, for 30 years as a Christian, I've worked to please Him. It's a new reality to me as well, that we are righteous and there's nothing we can do or not do to change that.

I've lived all these years trying to manage my sin, only to find out that it made me sin more. And sin no longer defines me!

He's lead us this far, friend. And now he's giving me someone else who understands. :) Thank you!


Anonymous said... Reply to comment

keep writing like this..I hope one day I can learn it's so different from what I've always known and lived so baby steps is a perfect analogy. Miles can't even stand up yet and doesn't even desire to lean onto his legs's so day at a time. I am the wobbly legged one that won't even put my weight down, but hoping maybe one day I'll get there! Thanks Julie for your writing! It is such a breath of fresh air! ahhhh....


Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Love this Julie. For years I have tried to 'work on myself' only to fail miserably. Love that it is the work of Holy Spirit to put all the pieces together - not us. Afterall, He is so much better at it than me. xo

Amy said... Reply to comment

I love this analogy! There is no greater miracle than the work Christ does in a person's heart. I rejoice over the miracle He's done in you.

Love you!

Sarah Webb said... Reply to comment

Julie, thank you for writing. I have been on a similar journey, and, wow, did you/He speak to my heart! I LOVE how the Lord unites the body of Christ and encourages us through each other. He is amazing. You are precious!

kingfisher said... Reply to comment

Thank you for your insights. We need to be reminded again and again, don't we, that he has made us new, and we are only righteous because He is, not because of anything we do, or what we're thinking.

I struggle with the "God's crazy about you" concept. The years have had some hardships which make me feel "punished," or at least "chastized", and so it's hard for me to think of these gifts of pain, tiredness and weakness as being love letters from God. But I do try to claim the Scriptures that tell me how much he loves me. And that "when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Wanda said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie, this is so beautifully written. Sounds like your in the midst of a beautiful journey with the Father. Only He can arrange the pieces of our lives in the way He destined them to be before the beginning of time.

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