The Christmas jigsaw puzzle – now there’s a family tradition to both love and hate. It always seems like a fun idea when you start off doesn’t it? Everyone gathered around the table with a common goal, a team effort, a joint project while you catch up and chat about how you are all doing. But then as the holiday season wears on and you have finished the corners and edges and the most obvious areas, family members gradually lose interest and you are left alone, late into the night, trying to conclude the pesky thing (because you started it and you are a completer-finisher. Why?) It is only after many hours of toil that you sit back to discover there are no more pieces in the box and there is a gap in the middle of your masterpiece. You try to keep the thing in perspective – it was after all for fun…. but it is a most unsatisfactory place to find yourself in the middle of the night. Turns out your nephew had pocketed a piece on the first evening so that he could sweep in at the last-minute and take all of the glory on the finishing line!! Cheeky wotsit.
A few years ago I was praying with a group of girl friends when one of them had a prophetic picture for me. She saw me doing a jigsaw puzzle and there were quite a lot of pieces still missing. I was frantically scrabbling around under the sofa trying to find the bits I needed but God said “They are in my hand.”
It can be a difficult place to be when you don’t have all the pieces and you can’t see the whole picture. Joseph’s brothers had returned from Egypt with sacks of grain but without Simeon. When they opened their sacks they found their silver had been hidden inside them and they were frightened. They didn’t understand – how did the silver get there? Why did the Egyptian governor care so much about meeting Benjamin? What was with all the questions? Jacob was so fearful of loosing his youngest son that he refused to let him go back with them but once all the grain was gone he had no choice.
Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man” Genesis 43:11-14
I can’t think of many better ways to grovel than with a few pistachios can you? When they arrive in Egypt they are welcomed into Joseph’s house as honoured guests (although they were terrified and convinced that it is a plan to ambush them and make them slaves.) They desperately try to explain the situation to Joseph’s steward; “We don’t know who put who put the silver in our sacks!”
He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Gen 43:23
Isn’t it interesting that their fear and desperation coloured their interpretation of the situation when they didn’t yet understand the bigger picture? There were so many pieces missing to the puzzle that they were freaking out. Makes me wonder where I am anxious unnecessarily because I don’t yet see the complete story?
Dear friends there will undoubtedly be areas in your life right now where you don’t see the complete picture and you don’t have all the pieces available but listen to Joseph’s steward – “Peace be with you! Do not be afraid.” You do not need to be anxious or fret. You do not need to fear the worst or scrabble around under the sofa. God has hidden treasure in your sacks for you and He has all the missing pieces in His hand!
Thanks for reading. Much love Rach x