True Christian Stories
by Debra K. Matthews

[puzzle piece]

Welcome! Here's an article from my collection of stories and writings. It's a reminder that we're all equally important in God's eyes, and that we all have a part to play in making things come together right, just like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. This is one I wrote back in 1977 for my church newspaper.

Pieces In A Puzzle

Copyright © 1977 by Debra K. Matthews. All rights reserved

Ever worked and worked and worked on a big puzzle, one of those 5,000 piece nightmares that takes hours and days, or even weeks to finish -- searched for a particular piece, the one with the funny crook in the edge and the little line of blue running across one corner, or the piece of broken fence in the middle?

How often do you spend half a day searching for that piece until you finally decide that your NEW puzzle is actually missing some pieces, when all of a sudden, right under your nose, there's that piece, sitting out in plain sight where you've looked a hundred times before. Then you say, "Now isn't that silly, how could I have missed it?"

A lot of things about life are like a giant jigsaw puzzle that you put together as you go along, finding different pieces that fit in from all around you, at home, work, or school, in everything you encounter.

Oftentimes in your Christian walk, you run into difficult situations, tests or even some scripture verses that really bother you, and you have to exclaim, "Lord, I just don't understand!" You dig out your concordance, Bible dictionary and commentaries and search diligently for the answer and still can't find it. You might even read the same verse ten or twenty times and feel that maybe the answer is lost somewhere in the middle of it, but you're really not sure.

Next thing you know, you're talking to Joe at work or Mabel next door about some little thing and they make an ordinary everyday comment about something and you think to yourself, "Why, that's just the answer I've been looking for all this time! How come I never thought of that?" It was like the little puzzle piece with the funny edge that you tried hours to find, and couldn't, even though it was right in front of you all along.

It seems that no matter how simple a question is, no matter how many study aids there are that can delve into the deepest or most obscure meanings, you can always find some added simple light of understanding in everyday conversation, in fellowship with other believers.

God has made his children dependent upon one another, as parents and brothers and sisters in a family should be, seeking and growing strong in each other's fellowship and company, together as one, able to meet all of life's challenges and adventures.

Just like the jigsaw puzzle you work so long to finish, it takes EVERY piece to give the whole completed picture. You may have 250 clear blue pieces that make up the sky, but if even one of them is missing, the picture is lacking in its total beauty.

So too, with the fellowship of God's people. If even one person draws back or drops out, the whole is affected, the picture incomplete, its beauty marred. We need one another in order to be complete in Him. No one piece can make the picture complete, but all added together make a strong whole, each helping to hold the other pieces together, molding the shape of the picture that the Master puts together.

Each piece is equally important, each has its place, whether it has a beautiful part of the scenery on it or is just a clear piece of the sky, it is needed to hold the rest of the picture together.

In describing us as all being parts of the whole, the Bible says:

"And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another." --I Corinthians 12:21-25.

In another place the Bible cautions us about not "skipping" church or forgetting to fellowship with each other:

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" --Hebrews 10:24-25.

If we want to stay strong in the Lord, and grow more in Him, we need to spend time with each other, both in church and in just getting together. We need to fellowship with each other, and share in each others' lives -- growing together, encouraging, helping and learning from one another. We need to be sure we're not the missing piece that mars the whole picture by our absence.


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Added January 1, 2000