Glenn Ahrens: (302) 761-3286
I remember when growing up, our entire family enjoyed puzzles. Whether it was at home or if we went to visit my aunt, there is always that card table set up with a puzzle that was in the works of being put together. Whenever there was spare time, some of us would get together and work on the puzzle. It is a time of family unity working together to finish the puzzle. They were usually fairly difficult and large puzzles; some of them had been put together many times before. When we completed a puzzle we would put it back in the box, and put it away on the shelf to come out later on, sometimes even a year or two later.
Have you ever worked a puzzle, maybe you spent hours on it, and you just about have it completed and it looks like it is really taking shape, and then you come right down to the end and you realize there’s a piece missing? Typically it’s the most important piece and despite all your work, all your effort, your puzzle just doesn’t look right without the missing piece. No matter how hard you try to substitute, it’s just not the same. Our lives sometimes are just like that jigsaw puzzle. We spend years trying to put it all together and for some of us here today, no matter how hard we try, we keep coming up one very important piece short.
Missing a puzzle piece does not seem like a big deal until you have spent days, nay–weeks, trying to assemble the puzzle. It’s also like reading hundreds of pages of a crime novel and discovering at the end that the last section where the crime is solved is missing. In the Bible in Luke 15:8 we have the parable of the lost coin, another similar situation. From the start of history mankind has always searched out for that “missing piece”. Whether it’s Ponce De Leon and the “Fountain of Youth” or something else. The Fountain of Youth is a mythical spring that restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted around the world for thousands of years, appearing in the writings of Herodotus (5th century BC), the Alexander romance (3rd century AD), and the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries AD). We also have those that set out for fame and fortune from King Solomon all the way to the gold rush in America and beyond.
Let’s look at King Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes 3:9-15, King Solomon midway thru chapter three of Ecclesiastes is still searching for that missing piece isn’t he? Let’s pick up on the story in chapter 3, at about verse 9…
9 What does the worker gain from his toil?
Of course we know the answer… absolutely nothing. Now, as we get to verse 10 we begin to get a breakthrough. Perhaps a coming to ones senses, Solomon begins to realize what the missing piece of life’s puzzle should look like. Follow this closely… watch what happens from verse 9 to verse 10. We enter the living God, and dear heart when he enters the scene, all of sudden the puzzle is complete: things begin to make sense, life now has meaning, direction, purpose…and best of all we receive deliverance from our despair.
Let’s crack open this nugget of discovery that Solomon has made and I want us to look at a couple of things that we can learn about God.
With Gods help let’s first see what God makes, then what God lives, and finally what God does. Ready? Verse 10…
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
When God steps in and we begin to see life through His eyes the first discovery that we make is this: God makes everything beautiful in its time. When God takes charge, beauty emerges. Notice quickly that Solomon doesn’t say that everything is beautiful, rather he says it is beautiful in its time.
And listen, its easy for some of us to struggle with his time frame isn’t it? We may not live to see his time completely fulfilled; we may live our entire life and not see the answer, but can I tell you this morning thank God that his promise stands for all eternity. What he says he will do (that almost makes me want to shout out loud) He will make it beautiful in its time.
You see we focus on the wrong things – we see an old, fuzzy, cardboard-colored cocoon, and all the while God is forming a beautiful butterfly.
We see just today…Gods sees eternity!
We get all caught up in the wrapping paper while God is focusing on the Gift.
Your unemployment, your failure, your hospital stay, your battles, your lost romance, your heartache, your illness – he’s making it beautiful in its time. Let me just underline something here: God wouldn’t say everything unless he meant everything and thank God that includes whatever you are going through right at this moment. The thing that we have to be aware of is that we are talking about things getting done in God’s time, not ours. If things don’t get dealt with right away, God has a reason and a purpose, and we must be patient and maintain our faith although we may not understand things. While we are going through them, usually God will reveal them later on in life.
Without God its’ hopeless, it’s meaningless, but with Him involved it ultimately makes sense. Since the beginning of time there has also been a large group seeking inner peace and freedom from stress. Some of these were those seeking fame and fortune, but for those who found their fortune they realize that things were actually worse and not better.
When we were created, God left out that piece on purpose in order to give us free choice in whether we wanted to fill it or leave it blank. There is only one puzzle piece that will fit and that is Jesus Christ. If we choose not to fill that void, we will never find peace in our life regardless of what we do. If we do choose Christ you will find a life of peace, Joy, and contentment beyond your wildest dreams. Even when you are going through very difficult times, and we all will, we will still have peace of heart knowing that God will always be with us to make sure we get through okay.
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