I’ve come to the understanding and acceptance that the missing pieces of my life, like blindness and depression, are places God’s sovereignty carved out so there would be room for the real hope and peace that sustains me because He does care, He is aware, and He does not err.
Though we may believe God is perfect and caring, there are things we don’t understand; there are still mysteries about Him.
So, in the midst of the mystery – when you’re smack-dab in the middle of a hard missing piece – here are three things I want you to remember.
1. Every missing piece is a snapshot.
What you struggle with – whether it’s debt, disease, or any number of difficulties – is not the whole picture. It’s just one photo in the whole photo album that is your life. It is not forever. It really will pass away someday. Just like an old photo in an album, the pain will become a faded memory. Keep your missing piece in perspective – eternal perspective. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 when you need to be reminded your missing piece is temporary.
2. Every missing piece is a teacher.
Your struggles may cause you to experience loss, but you can also gain wisdom and deep understanding as you allow them to teach you. Think about what knowledge you have found in your missing piece. What foolishness have you left behind because of what you learned from it? Read Psalm 25:3, 86:11; Romans 5:3 when you need encouragement in the classroom of suffering.
3. Every missing piece is a ministry.
Your missing pieces can be opportunities to redeem your loss and give to others. For example, the apostle Paul wrote the Book of Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians while he was in prison in Rome. He could have seen that prison – that missing piece – as an opportunity for self-pity or ministry hiatus. Paul could have spent his time in prison asking “Why God?” He could have stared at the shackles he wore and cried out, “God, are you fair? God, are you aware of me in prison?”
Some people spend their whole lives asking questions of faith like, “God, do you hear prayer? God, are You there? God, do you err?” But, what if you take those same kinds of questions and ask, “Do I care? Am I there for others? Am I aware of the world around me? Am I an answer to the prayer of others?”
When we become part of the answer for others who suffer, the questions concerning our own suffering seem to move to a place of less significance.
Consider these questions and ask God how your missing pieces can allow you to minister to others.
How can I show someone else I care?
What can I do to be there for another person?
How can I be a part of God’s answer to prayer?
From Missing Pieces: Real Hope when Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Jennifer Rothschild. You can download a free sample of Missing Pieces here.