Pauline loves jigsaw puzzles and she has just completed a particularly troublesome one with one thousand pieces. It is a picture of two wolves rubbing noses. Most of the family have, at some point, had a hand in the completion of it. I even lent a hand.

When we look at the pieces of a jigsaw, broken and mixed up in the box it is hard to imagine what the completed picture will look like. Time and concentration and enough space to spread the pieces out right-side-up is the start of the process. We pull out all of the edge pieces and begin to put them together forming what will be the framework for the final image. We may put other pieces into place as we do the edges and that can be quite satisfying.

It is not easy to see the full picture with all the pieces in front of us but we know that with work we will get there. Pauline’s wolf jigsaw has taken weeks of back ache and strained eyes and frustration at the realisation that some of the pieces are in the wrong place. What did help was another pair of eyes scanning over the pieces, sometimes pointing out the errors and slotting that illusive piece into place.

In our personal journeys of faith in Jesus it is not always easy to see what the end picture will look like. Sometimes our lives feel as if they are just a box full of tiny pieces all jumbled up in need of time and space to ‘get sorted’. It is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ that can open our heart and minds to the will of God.

Romans 12:2 says:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The arrival of a new Minister in September and new tenants in the other part of our church building may look to some like a box full of bits that have no order, the end picture is far from clear and for some it may be that it is all just too much to be bothered with; but like Pauline’s jigsaw, by working together the picture can be put together piece by piece. Through prayer and careful attention to God’s voice the picture will become clearer to us. My prayer is that as a church we will grow in prayer and unity and through prayer we can start to put together the jigsaw that is our Christian witness together in Starbeck.

Ephesians 6:18:
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s

Jesus’ disciples in the hours following His arrest, trial and crucifixion, must have been in pieces with no picture of a future hope. They must have been terrified, feeling lost and alone, even betrayed. They could not have imagined that Jesus would be raised from the dead, and yet we read of that very thing in the Gospels. Many (some) today speak of knowing Jesus as their saviour and friend.

Look at the pieces of your life. Look at the pieces of your faith. Ask God to speak to you through those pieces so that you might know God better in your life. May the Risen Jesus live in your heart and renew your mind fitting those pieces together; may the Holy Spirit to fill you and every space in your life to the glory of His name.

God bless
Tim Simms