From the early-learning wooden or foam variety to intricate 10,000-piece or 3D types, puzzles are a proven way to develop problem-solving skills, as well as a pleasant hobby for all ages.
When I was 11, I became fascinated with jigsaw puzzles. My mother and I would relax together at the kitchen table, piecing together increasingly complex puzzles. We would cover the unfinished puzzle with the tablecloth at mealtimes, then remove it afterward and get to work at finding that next piece.
It has been a while since I’ve had the time to assemble a major puzzle, but my toddler is learning to put simple ones together. I can take one look at the pieces and easily tell where they will fit, yet my little boy sometimes struggles to find the proper place for the piece he is holding. When he gets stuck and frustrated, he turns to me and I give him a suggestion or a clue. Eventually he figures out where each piece goes and is happy. I love that look of accomplishment that he gets when he has completed the puzzle.
Sometimes we face complicated situations where there appears to be no way out or through. It’s often during those times that we realize “resorting to prayer” is our best option. How like children we are, trying to piece together and make sense of difficult situations ourselves, when God is ready, willing, and able to help.
Like a parent, He enjoys helping us work on the puzzle of life. From His vantage point He can easily see which piece needs to go where, and what should come next. He doesn’t put the puzzle together for us, because we wouldn’t learn much if He did. But when we get stuck, He can give us hints. He works with us piece by piece, and piece by piece we see the picture come together.
God knows what we need even before we ask, (Matthew 6:8) but He usually waits for us to ask. Sometimes our own pride and independence get in the way. We don’t want to ask for help because we don’t want to admit that we don’t have the solution. So we try to do it ourselves to the point of frustration, when all we need to do is ask and receive His answer. If we’re smart, we’ll be like the fellow who said, “I may not know all the answers, but I know the answer man.” He is the answer!—David Brandt Berg