Puzzle missing one piece

by Joyce Trevolt, Associate West District Lay Leader

Matthew 21:22 “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” Revised Standard Version

You who read the Guidepost magazine, may recognize “Mysterious Ways.” A small article that appears in each of the issues. They normally are written by someone who would like a sign from a loved one; a sign that help is on the way or just something to remind them they are loved by God. A missing puzzle piece was not something that should have been a mysterious way.

I enjoy putting puzzles together. I have since I was a child. My favorite then was a picture of a little boy with a basket of eggs. An egg in each hand. Then there was the picture of a Dutch windmill and tulips. It was as big as a card table. I believe it was two thousand pieces. I had broken my leg and it helped me get through the days of recouperation.

I also have a puzzle I like to put together each year at Christmas, one of different Santa ornaments. It has no border, so it is fun to do. Each puzzle is different. Some are difficult due to the picture, or size of the pieces. Some go together easily with colors and design. Some people put together only certain artists, or 200, 500, or 1000-piece puzzles. Then there are some who work puzzles on their phones. There’s an app for that!

I finished a puzzle a couple of weeks ago that I received for Christmas. It was a lovey picture of a house in the country with a pond in front and a walking bridge at one end. There were seven hot air balloons taking off in the morning mist. Lights, burned in the windows, reflected off the water. The flame from an ascending hot air balloon was shining. The colors of the puzzle, however, were muted. There was not a vivid bright color on the puzzle. Everything seemed to blend. The balloon pieces were easy to pick out, but the house, landscape, sky, and pond all seemed to be one color. Now, I know they are not all one color, but I also know that if you can’t see the variation in the colors, it is hard to put together.

I had been working on the puzzle for a week. Our son was coming to visit, and the puzzle was in the middle of the guest bedroom. It had to get done or I needed to move it out of the room. I wasn’t making much progress. The lighting in the room was not ideal. I was running out of time, so I decided to move the puzzle to a back room. With better light and a bigger space for the puzzle pieces, it began to come together. The horizon was a problem. There was a slight difference in the landscape and the sky, but there was a piece missing. As I continued to put the puzzle together it was apparent, I was missing a yellowish-brown horizon piece. So, the search was on. I looked in the bedroom, under the bed, behind the drapes, under the chair, nothing. Then I went to each room in the house looking for the missing piece. Thinking it had gotten caught on my sweater and traveled to another part of the house. I looked in the back room, even outside. Nothing. I could not find the puzzle piece. I walked through my steps of when I opened the plastic bag. I made sure I took everything out of the bag. My husband helped. Still nothing. This went on for several days. I was not going to give up. I knew the piece was here somewhere.

As we sometimes do, or most of the time do, we wait until the last moment to pray. But I finally did. “Lord, thank you for letting me find the puzzle piece. I know that you know if I lost it and it will not be found, but if it is still here, may it be found. Your will be done.” And I let it go.

Our son was scheduled to arrive within two days, so I was getting his room ready. I moved the easy chair, the bed, and a box in the room so I could vacuum. All things I had moved before looking for the puzzle piece. I finished up my chores and went back into the room to make sure everything was in order and there, laying on the floor, in front of the chair was the puzzle piece. Now, I had looked on that chair numerous times as well as vacuum the floor but had not found that puzzle piece. But here it was. Praise God. I walked through the house praising God.

Now, a missing puzzle piece is not a big deal, but I have thought of several things I learned:

First, pray. Prayer should be our first move, not our last. Pray with thanksgiving for what He is to do, not what you will get out of it.

Second: Never give up. Keep searching, keep going. God is in the details.

Third: God cares what happens in every aspect of our lives. Even a small insignificant puzzle piece.

Praise GOD!

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Author: Joyce Trevolt

The Desert Southwest Conference is a diverse and loving organization with open doors to a variety of people and partners in ministry. Celebrating our connection and diversity, we offer various resources. Content on this site includes information from other organizations that may not reflect the official policies or Social Principles of The United Methodist Church or the Desert Southwest Conference.

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