I have a foot tattoo of puzzle pieces. Anyone who has a tattoo will tell you that you honestly forget that they are there. My tattoo has been there for about 10 years now, so I don’t even think about it. But everyone once in awhile someone will ask me about it. The truth is I got it because I loved puzzles at the time and thought it was cool. Depending on the person, I would either recite this or my secondary story. “I’m not put together yet.” They usually ask, “When you get put together will you connect the pieces?” To which I reply, “I’ll never be put together, I’m always changing, growing, and developing.” My puzzle and the picture it creates will always evolve.
Just like the puzzle pieces on my foot, I’ve realized that there are plenty of times in my life where I think I have every piece of the puzzle together but I don’t. This morning as I was reading the book of John I was reminded of this again.
I was reading chapter 11 when Lazarus dies, and Jesus raises him from the dead. As I was reading, I saw that Jesus said in some form or fashion said this death was to glorify God and make those around him believe three separate times. Still, you have Martha, Mary, and the disciples saying, “Only if Jesus had been there Lazarus would not have died.” Everyone was either confused by or ignored what Jesus was saying. They simply saw the death of Lazarus, not the glory that would come from it.
I see similarities in my own life. Like Martha and Mary, I would say, “Jesus if you were only here that would not have happened.” But also like Martha, I must say, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask” (John 11:22). There are many times where I only see the death around a particular situation but don’t realize that God could and will use it for his glory.
There’s so much to our stories than what we will see on earth. As I read the story of Lazarus and his family, I do not think they thought their story would encourage people thousands of years after they are gone. When I think of the prayers I prayed and how my life is not “put together” I wonder who will be encouraged by the “death” in my life and what will come of it even when I’m gone.
God showed me something this past week that has changed the way I see the entire picture and the pieces in my life. I was thanking God overwhelmed by the way he has blessed me so far in my life. I was reminding God of all the bad I’ve done and how this doesn’t equate to the blessings of my life. Then he showed me, my grandmother. He told me most of my blessings came from the prayers of my grandmother. Just the way Jacob was blessed because of the promises made to his grandfather Abraham. These pieces never crossed my mind as a part of my picture.
Our pictures are created by many different pieces and influenced by many different people. Pieces that look as if they don’t fit, no longer fit, or never will fit. God created each piece to bring him glory. We don’t have to know how the final picture looks. We just have peace in the fact that God is it in no matter the outcome.
“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” -John 11:4
God is good y’all.