By: Staci Stallings
Kids are fascinating. They are. If you watch them, they will teach you very profound lessons about life and yourself.
A couple weeks ago in Sunday School, we did the infamous puzzle day. On that day we are talking about the Holy Spirit and how, if you let Him, the Holy Spirit can put your life together in such a way as to make it fit perfectly–not just for you but for everyone else too.
I have this puzzle that’s the picture of Jesus hugging the person who’s just come to Heaven. In the sky is a rainbow representing the Father. Also above Jesus’ head is a dove. The puzzle is like 560 pieces. Since I’m not good with puzzles and we have to put the thing together with 40 different kids in about 30 minutes, I have put nine pieces in each of 63 bags and numbered them.
The idea is that each kid gets a “day’s” worth of pieces–nine. They are to put those pieces together and then as I call out the number of their bag, they bring them up and I put them together. Then they go and get a new bag of pieces. Of course this is the ultimate lesson in working together because everyone is putting their own pieces together and then helping others who are trying to get theirs together as well. It’s quite the class.
At the end of putting the puzzle together, there is a “trick.” The Holy Spirit played it on me first, so I don’t take credit for thinking it up. See, the first time we put the puzzle together, we got the whole thing done–and we were missing one piece (which we later found and put in a separate bag). That piece is right up in the sky, part of the Holy Spirit’s wings, and it is really obvious when you get the thing together that one piece is missing. So, of course, one bag has only 8 pieces in it. But I don’t tell them that. They expect the puzzle to be whole when it’s finished.
Every year the kids freak out about the missing piece. Most of the time they all go on scouting duty around the tables trying to find it. This year, they took a different tack.
Now, I know there is one piece missing. They just don’t know that I know.
Well, this year, that pesky bag with only eight could not be solved. The poor girl working on it was really good at puzzles but because of the missing piece, she was having a really hard time getting it together. Therefore, that section was the last one to be put in. In fact, several of the boys tried to “help” by putting it in piece-by-piece rather than as a completed section. That was interesting.
I’m not sure which student figured it out first, but as I was standing there talking, all of a sudden like 8 students had their hand on the puzzle. They were all trying to cover the missing piece, looking up at me as if nothing in the world were wrong with this picture. Like… “Maybe if we stand here real natural she won’t notice.” What they didn’t know is that they hadn’t lost the piece at all. It was missing for a reason.
But isn’t that just like all of us? We perceive that we have a “missing piece,” and so we do everything in our power to cover that thing up so maybe no one will notice–especially God. What ends up happening is instead of making it less noticeable, we draw attention to it!
What pieces are you trying to cover up in your puzzle? Maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason the Holy Spirit hasn’t filled that piece in yet. One thing is for sure… He knows better than you that there’s a missing piece. He knows where it is, and He knows where it goes. If you will trust Him and stop trying to hide the obvious, maybe together, you and He can fill it in. Otherwise, frankly, you just look a bit silly standing there with your hand over the puzzle like no one’s going to notice you’re trying to hide the obvious.