one piece at a time

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

There are several instances in Scripture when Jesus premises his words or actions as he instructs the disciples. Those times when he says: listen to me, watch me, I am going to tell you something/or do something for you now…it might look or sound crazy…but one day you will understand.

Anytime I come across Jesus saying this I think about a young child being instructed by his parent. Parents have already walked down many of the roads their children might come across as they journey along life’s path. So, they do their best to warn and direct the ones they love.

Don’t touch that stove, it’s hot.
Look both ways when you cross the street.
You have to be a friend to have a friend.
The world doesn’t revolve around you.
Just say no.
If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you?

Some of the best advice my dad ever gave me was, “If you don’t start…you’ll never have to stop.” Even with a couple of generations of alcoholics in our family, I didn’t realize what beautiful advice that was as teenager/young adult. I did not heed his advice then. Today, I appreciate and respect my dad’s words.They make complete sense to me now.

I recently read the following passage.

“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you.” John 16:13

This is the Message translation of when Jesus is speaking to his disciples about going to the cross and how the Holy Spirit is coming in his place. I love the first sentence, here’s my paraphrase: I have much more I want to tell you, but I know if I do, I will overwhelm you. So, I will give you only what you need to know now.

The more I think about those verses, the more I realize that the Lord still does this in my life today. I sometimes picture my life as a big jigsaw puzzle and God only hands me one or two pieces at a time. I place the pieces where he directs and then try to make sense of the picture forming in front of me. I wait for more pieces.

Years ago, when I reconnected with the Lord, I felt as if He began the healing process in my life using the same technique. I look back at all the areas needing to be addressed and I am thankful God didn’t decide to reveal them to me all at one time. I am grateful He didn’t just dump the whole box out in front of me and say, “Here, you need to have this all figured out and properly placed by 5:00pm.”

No, He handed me a couple of puzzle pieces and said, “Here, let’s just focus on these.”

Learning and growing and putting all the pieces of our lives together is a fascinating process. And, I love looking back and seeing God’s fingerprints all over the puzzle.

Today, I want to trust that He will hand me the pieces I need right now. Hold onto to the rest, Lord, I know they won’t get lost under your couch.

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