Monday, August 30, 2010

The Big Picture

Growing up I loved putting together jigsaw puzzles. When I was really young it was fairly easy putting together the 5-10 piece kind. They were so large you almost didn’t need assistance. The horse looked like a horse. The barn looked like a barn. As I grew older, I graduated to more challenging puzzles, the 500, 1000, and 2000 piece kind. Those were a bit more challenging because the pieces were so small you couldn’t really tell where the pieces fit unless you looked at the picture on the cover of the box. It was essential to constantly make reference to the big picture or you wouldn’t know what you were building. You wouldn’t know if it was a puzzle of a map, a box of marbles, or Mickey Mouse.  Without reference to the big picture you wouldn’t know where to start and you faced the distinct possibility of giving up in frustration.

The Bible can sometimes appear to us like a jigsaw puzzle and without reference to the "Big Picture" it’s easy to get lost in the details. It’s easy to get frustrated with the events on every page wondering how they relate to our personal experience.  Life can sometimes look like a jigsaw puzzle too.  When our children act in ways that are self-destructive, when our fears, anxieties, and tempers sometimes overwhelm us, and when outside forces threaten our security and safety we wonder, “What in the world is going on? Where is God? What are His purposes in the world? What are His purposes for my life? When the details of life threaten to overwhelm us we need to take a look at the Big Picture. What is the Big Picture? The Big Picture is simply this, God in His mercy is calling out rebels to become sons and daughters. He is calling worshippers to find their greatest joy in following Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.   He is orchestrating all of life around this theme. The Big Picture shows us that maturity, wholeness, and lasting change come through challenges which the Father brings--delighting to give us what we lack. It reminds us that through Jesus we are always the object of the Father’s everlasting affection. Do you need to be reminded today of the Big Picture and of the Father’s love? Take a look and perhaps the details won’t seem so overwhelming!