Daily Devotional February 10, 2022

During the past Christmas break, Shannon decided we would have a bonding experience.  She bought a jigsaw puzzle for us to put together.  She said it would be fun.  I was doubtful.

To entice me to “bond” with her, Shannon bought a puzzle of a World War II jeep.  I was intrigued.

Then she opened the box, dumped the 8,000,000 pieces on the table, and turned them right-side up.  I was overwhelmed.

As we began to put the edge of the puzzle together, Shannon’s hands were moving over the pieces, putting them together in a seamless pattern.  It was like she had all the pieces memorized.  I was amazed.

I, on the other hand, would stare at the pieces, completely unable to make any of them fit.  I was frustrated.

After about an hour of Shannon being very productive and me not getting anything done, I asked why she was so good at putting the puzzle together.  She said she looked at the shapes and was able to put them together in her mind.  I was blown away.

The entire time Shannon had been looking at the shapes of the pieces, I had been looking at their colors.  My way of doing things was impossibly harder because each piece had many different colors.  I was amazed.

This got me thinking.

Shannon and I were looking at the exact same thing.  Shannon was incredibly productive.  I was not.  The difference was how we chose to see the puzzle pieces.  Shannon focused on shapes.  I focused on colors.  One way worked.  One way did not.  This is a great analogy for life.

In both the good and bad experiences of life, the way we look at them makes all the difference in the world.

For those who know our wonderful God, we realize there is nothing beyond God’s power.  We know that God is a continual active presence in our lives and God does no harm, only good.  We know God wants us to trust in him, even when the bottom falls out and we are sinking into the sea of hurt, pain, and confusion.  Jesus is the lifeline that saves us.  It is the right way to look at life.

For those who do not know our wonderful God, the bad experiences of life are just that – bad.  There’s no one to ultimately trust.  When they are sinking into the sea of hurt, pain, and confusion, they see no lifeline.  It is the wrong way to look at life.

In the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John, the disciples see a man who was blind from birth.  They ask Jesus if it was the blind man’s fault?  Had he somehow offended God so badly, while he was in his mother’s womb, that God withdrew his sight?  That didn’t make sense.

They ask Jesus if it was the man’s parent’s fault?  Had they committed such a terrible sin that God punished their child?  That didn’t make sense.

Jesus, seeing the disciples were focusing on a horrible understanding of God, that included God punishing the innocent, helped them look at the man’s sad situation in a completely different light.

Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”  (John 9:3)

Then Jesus showed God’s wonderful power in the face of hurt, pain and confusion by giving the blind man his sight.  Jesus showed that God was an active presence in the blind man’s life, when he could not see God, or anything else.  God overcame the man’s adversity.

The disciples saw it all wrong.  As Shannon says, they were looking at the glass half-empty instead of half-full. Christians are half-full kinds of people.

When life is hard, acknowledge what’s really going, trust the One who gave you life, saved you, and will bring you home.  The glass is always half-full.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to see every aspect of life through the eyes of your Son.  Help me trust in your love, grace, and mercy.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

I hope you are at a very good place in life, and you feel the warmth of the sun on your face.  But if life is hard and you feel nothing but cold, know you are not alone.  Choose to remember God’s wonderful love for you.  Trust God’s Son.  Know that God’s Holy Spirit is right beside you, working on your behalf.  Choose to see good.

This is how God’s children see life.  The glass is always half-full.

Also, if you are ever in the mood to put together a jigsaw puzzle, call Shannon.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins