Putting Together the Puzzle

  • July 18, 2011
  • #7621

Joni shares that real wisdom is the ability to trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.

Putting Together the Puzzle

If you were to visit my art studio, this is one drawing you shouldn’t miss! 

Hey, and I didn’t even draw the thing! Hi, friend, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I invite you, should you ever be in the Agoura Hills area here in southern California, please come by our International Disability Center for a tour. Because if I'm in the building, I would love to show you my art studio. I love to give little art lessons to people using my drawings and paintings – and always, I want these lessons to point people to God's Word. There’s one particular drawing that I use… When friends visit, I pull out a large pencil sketch portrait of me. It was done when I was, oh, I guess in my early 20’s. I did not draw this particular picture, a friend named Jim did it – Jim is an artist-friend and he noticed how, at that point in my life, I was really digging deep into God's Word to understand His plan and purpose for my life. I was still pretty distressed about having to live life paralyzed without use of my hands or legs, and I looked at Bible verses as, well… kind of like puzzle pieces. Back then, I figured that if I studied the Bible hard and long enough, I’d be able to gather all the pieces that had shattered and scattered after my diving accident… I’d be able to fit them all back together like a puzzle so that everything would make sense. 

My artist friend Jim was pretty impressed with my interest in God's Word, and so he drew a portrait of me that, well, it looks like a puzzle, my face looks like a puzzle. Some pieces of the puzzle are missing; a few puzzle pieces are off to the side, like they still need to fit into my face or cheek or chin or whatever. A little part of my face is not quite complete in that area. Well, when he showed it to me, I cried. I said, “Jim, you have captured in this pencil sketch what my quest is all about. I want to understand. I want to see how all these pieces can be put back together.” (Can you tell I was only in my early 20s then?). 

Back then, I was so naïve; but now, many, many years later I see that real wisdom is not being able to put together all the puzzle pieces when God allows suffering to shatter our lives. No, that’s not wisdom. Real wisdom is the ability to trust God even when the puzzle pieces don’t fit, and especially when lots of those pieces get lost. Maybe I'm speaking to your heart here; maybe you have been on a quest to make everything fit; make it look like the picture on the cover of the box; you want life to be like it was; you want the picture of what’s going on in your life to look complete and understandable. Well, you know what… it may not happen. It probably won’t happen. Sure, God's Word will make some things, even many things clear – lots of the puzzle pieces will fit: your prayer life will deepen; your family will draw closer together; you’ll lean on God more. But when you’re suffering bad, just remember, that wisdom is trusting the Lord even when life doesn’t make sense.

Hey! I’d like to show you this puzzle picture. I’ve posted it today on my radio page at joniandfriends.org and I’d really like you to see it. And drop me a line while you’re on our website – tell me about the puzzle pieces in your life. Oh, and while you’re on our radio page, I’ve got something to help you in your search through God's Word; it’s called “Bible Promises for Hope & Courage” and you can pick up your free copy today at joniandfriends.org. Remember that when hardship hits, wisdom is not the ability to piece together the puzzle of your shattered life; real wisdom is trusting God even when the pieces don’t fit.

© Joni and Friends

Have You Been Encouraged?

  • Your email address will not be published with your comment or be displayed anywhere on our website.
  • We do not rent or sell your personal information to other companies or individuals.
  • For more information please see our privacy policy.