Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life's A Puzzle

Isaiah 45:6 - "That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other."

I look at life as a giant jigsaw puzzle.  I've written about this before. You are doing a puzzle. There's this one piece you can't seem to find no matter how many times you've looked and picked up pieces and tried to get them to fit in that one spot. It remains empty...for a time. You continue in other areas of the puzzle, filling in here and there sometimes easily, sometimes not. But slowly the puzzle takes shape. Then all of a sudden you uncover that one piece. You can't believe you didn't see it sooner. You pick it up and, voila, it fits and there's a feeling of contentment, completion.

That's what happened (and happens) in my life a couple years ago. I look back and see there was a part of my life that was missing something. Although I didn't know that, God knew what it was but not all the other pieces of the puzzle had been put in place. He was waiting for just the right time to add that one piece. From there other pieces were easier to be placed.

So, where am I going with this? I'm still amazed, and yet not, at the orchestration of my changing churches. It was nothing I wanted to do. This is how I know God was planning something. But...some two years ago one seemingly small incident (yet not when you consider how the timing had to be absolutely spot on) started the transformation. I know I have written something like this before. But when you see evidence in a life of God's hand at work, you can understand this analogy.

Everything...EVERYTHING...is controlled by God. He DOES know the rising of the sun and it's setting. He created all things, as opposed to what we are told about some cosmic explosion out of some ooey gooey mass. (Even if it was an ooey gooey mass someone had to have created that.) He creates the circumstances in our lives, good and bad. He sets things in motion at conception. He causes this or that to transpire that shapes who we are, strengthens us in areas, weakens us in others. We are most likely not aware of His handiwork until we are aware of Him. All things are geared to point us to Him. That's all He wants.

I was talking with a friend the other day and I said, again, everything...EVERYTHING...starts and ends with God. There's just no way around it. If you would take any circumstance or issue and trace it backwards you can see it was God's plan, it was started or controlled by Him...because without Him you wouldn't have been born to experience these things. But you have to know Him before you can see this. You have to take the time to consider His ways.

The sooner we understand there is a God, that He is in control and is always trying to get us to realize Him as the Supreme Authority, the better off we are. We are less likely to look at some circumstances as a pain in the neck or quite unfair. We might even take the time to consider what He might be up to and just go with the flow.

I can see how my meeting a young man one night two years ago, not to see him again until a few months ago and not being able to get this powerful man of God off my mind, changed my life.
I know he doesn't look at himself as the catalyst, but God used him. God had to have set the circumstances in order. This young man was in a place he normally would not have been.

He walked into the sanctuary of the church I attended then to pray, two years ago, not realizing there was a small group of people there for Thursday night prayer (my being there when I think back on that was orchestrated as well!).  He apologized for interrupting. He was using our gymnasium for basketball with some young men because he had no any other place. He wanted to pray about what message he would share with these men after. So we prayed for him and then he prayed. The intensity of his prayer stayed with me. I have to admit I wondered if there was any opening in our church for this man!

The Lord was beginning a change in me...one I could not have expected. This change was for me alone! I say this not in arrogance. He knew what I needed or perhaps what I desired...or what He desired for me and was going to accomplish if I was obedient. He does the same in different ways for others. Each experience is unique to each of us...so we cannot judge what others are going through.

I won't go into other details about the change because the point is God put that one piece of the puzzle into my life and all the other pieces, one by one, began to fit until I knew I heard the Lord's voice in my spirit telling me with such clarity I was to leave my church and go to where I am now. Wow.

There's a general consensus that something is happening, that God is up to something. God's people's spirits are being stirred. Perhaps others are too. We can't put a finger on what it all is, but I know those who know what God can do are waiting for His next move...or the other pieces in their little life's puzzle or in the giant puzzle of all life to fall into place...or the other shoe is about to drop. At the bottom of my emails I have a little phrase I coined some time ago: Something's brewing in God's atmosphere. That pretty much explains this stirring. He's in control and something is going to happen...individually, within the Church or in the world. There will come a time when those who do not know the workings of our God will. Plain and simple. There will be no excuse for not seeing Him at work. Eyes WILL begin to look up...or sadly, anger and rejection of Him will take place.

All things begin and end with our Creator, Father, Redeemer, Almighty God. I love how He operates! There is no way we could ever put such plans into motion ourselves. That's why I will continue to look to Him. I know I've not seen the end of this puzzle! I'm only able to see the last two years (and others past) but there's more to come.

I just have to add this note: This young man, Aaron Fischer, is now an evangelist, ordained by his father, pastor of my new church, The Church in Wisconsin, Terry Fischer. (I knew there was something special about him.) The call of God has been on him for several years. Just as God is working in me, He is working in him...and many, many others, each in different ways. We serve an amazing God!

Isaiah 55:8-9 - "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." 

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