by Melissa Moore France
Anyone ever worked an intricate 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, looking forward to recreating the beautiful Thomas Kinkade scene pictured on the box, just to be disappointed at the end of the process because a piece is missing?
Of course you haven’t!
You don’t have that kind of time. But, you probably have – or this experience may still be in your future – assembled a Barbie Pink Passport 3-Story Townhouse (insert any toy here that is comprised of 500-plus pieces and has the line “some assembly required” on the box) at 1 a.m. on Christmas morning just to discover that one of the stately columns or the string for the elevator is missing.
I think we all have “some assembly required” stamped on our butts, and all of the pieces must be present if we want our elevators to go all the way to the top floor. I’m talking about the good, the bad and the ugly pieces of our lives – maybe even the straight up painful pieces. If you’re living a good piece of your life now – congratulations! Enjoy it to the fullest! But what if your now isn’t great? What if it is just mediocre? I feel very frustrated when, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing is happening to move me toward my goals. I hate feeling like my wheels are just spinning, with no place in sight to gain any traction. Over time, I’ve learned that even these pieces are necessary for the finished product to be complete. Seriously, who wants a Barbie Pink Passport 3-Story Townhouse with no stairs and a non-working elevator!
Try remembering some periods of your past that were no fun. Often, from this vantage point in time, you can see how they equipped you and gave you the know-how and wisdom needed for success in your future. I think during some of my stuck- in-the -mud -moments, God was testing me to see if I would be faithful to the dream or the call He has placed on my life – or would I give up. I was building endurance, but not always with a good attitude. Lately, I’ve been applying the Navy SEAL sentiment “Embrace the suck” to not just my workouts but to all difficult and unpleasant pieces of my life. It’s my way of internally partnering with God in His plan for my life instead of fighting against the season He has placed me in.
Bare, winter tree branches, while in their season of dormancy, appear dead, but actually life is pulsing beneath the surface. This season is necessary for the future explosion of leaves, blooms, and fruits. When I’m stressed because I feel that I am not making any progress, I remind myself of this Scripture: “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV) Don’t be discouraged by the bad, and the ugly, and even the painful pieces of life you may be dealing with now. They complete your big, beautiful, God-ordained picture. These experiences enable you to truly and fully grasp your goal or live your dream. Now, go ride your elevator all the way to the top floor!