Saturday, August 02, 2008

One Piece of a Very Large Puzzle

The hostess of the evening asked if I liked jigsaw puzzles.

“Not really,” I replied. “My son-in-law worked on one a couple of weeks ago while we were in Colorado, but they just don’t fascinate me like they do other people.”

She then told me about a jigsaw puzzle she has been working on since 2005. Someone gave her a Rogier van der Weyden puzzle of Altarpiece of St. Columba. How many pieces? 18,000! She took me to their spare room and there in five or six panels was the masterpiece in process. One-third of a panel done on some, perhaps half of another, yet there was several bags of pieces yet unopened. It will take this woman another three years to get this 126.5 x 61.8 inch puzzle into final form.

This morning as I was listening to my favorite Bible expositor they began by reading letters of supporters of that radio ministry. One wrote to say that reaching the hidden people groups of India was the purpose of her support. Getting the Word to the unreached through radio is ONE piece of the puzzle. I thought of the many people I see each week in India and Africa who do not have a radio and wouldn’t know how to dial into a Christian radio station if they had one. I look at my ministry and, as I told my hosts over supper on the campus of this historical seminary, my contribution is more like one piece in a three trillion-piece puzzle. And I think of those who support our ministry, those who faithfully pray for our piece in the puzzle and I realize they, too, are a small part in God’s great redemptive design.

What will be interesting about eternity will be to learn how the pieces of the puzzle came together; the many who heard, received, and then shared the Gospel with others. How through time and space that message of Good News of Christ’s salvation circled the globe, and penetrated into the interiors of the cities, jungles and deserts of this world. It will be intriguing to learn how the Name of Jesus wove it’s way into countless languages and He became known even to the most isolated people groups of the world. I’m not a big piece, or even a significant piece in God’s redemptive mosaic, but I am one, seeking the other pieces God wants in the picture.