• Jon Michael Ogletree

Putting Together A Puzzle




I absolutely love putting puzzles together. My OCD really comes out strong, and at the very beginning. After opening the box, I absolutely cannot stand the puzzle dust residue that is all over the pieces and in the box. So, I spend the first ten minutes getting the puzzle dust out of the box. While I do this though, I'm looking for edge pieces, and if I find any of the four corner pieces, I get ecstatic.


I like how I can make visible progress each time I sit and work on puzzles. I often tell people that my job as an accountant is similar to putting a puzzle together, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. There are situations I’m responsible for that are essentially pieces to a puzzle that I simply have to organize. If there is a missing piece, I find out who has it, and then I get it from them. Once everything is together, the puzzle is complete, and I wait for a new one to come my way.


Walking with Jesus is kind of like putting together a puzzle, with each circumstance in my life being like a puzzle piece. I seek to understand why each of them have been placed in the box and how they all fit to create the big picture. Some days I don’t work on it at all. Some days I fit several pieces in. Some days I feel like God shows me something about Himself I’ve never seen before, which allows me to put some of those pieces together that I’ve wondered about for a such a long time.


I find some pieces that I had previously placed together, don’t really fit. Sometimes it seems like there are pieces that were lost, chewed up, or sucked in a vacuum cleaner. Sometimes the box just keeps filling up with pieces faster than I can keep up. It can be a very discouraging process, especially when I'm trusting in something or someone other than Jesus.


Surrendering more of my life to Jesus seems to be the key strategy to complete more of the puzzle. Sometimes I can't even seem to be able to put the edges together. Some of these pieces have such a unique shape, it seems I won't ever find the missing piece. Many pieces I can’t even recognize which side is up. Some days I sit down at the table to work on it and wonder if I have enough of it put together to count for anything at all.


It’s important to recognize that this is not Christianity at all. The puzzle I’ve been working on isn’t salvation. The salvation puzzle is up on the wall, glued together, behind glass and was completed by Jesus. I can’t finish it, because it’s already finished. I can’t even touch it or ruin it in any way. If the salvation puzzle is finished, what is the puzzle that I’ve been working on? It’s the sanctification puzzle, or in other words, the becoming more like Jesus puzzle. The best part of this one is that I’m not putting it together alone. There are two nail-pierced hands helping me with every single piece.


Philippians 2:12 says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose.”


Be encouraged, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with us!