“So then it was not you who sent me here, but God.” – Gen. 45:8
We can’t see the whole picture until we have all the pieces and discern how they fit together. My dad loves doing puzzles, and occasionally the urge reaches through my genetics and grabs me, too. Then we break out a puzzle, reveal the pieces, create the border, and fill in the middle. But some puzzles don’t show you the whole picture – you have to put it together blindly until the picture is revealed.
This was the story of Joseph’s life. He had so many pieces that were so different, it was nearly impossible to see the whole picture until the end. Some pieces were amazing and technicolored – his father’s favorite and showered with gifts, successful in Potiphar’s house and in the Egyptian prison, Pharoah’s second-in-command. But many were dark, blurry, or even flat out nasty – attempted murder, false accusations of rape, tossed aside and forgotten for years at a time. The individual pieces surely didn’t seem to fit together. But here in Chapter 45, we finally get the pieces together and the picture revealed. The amazing pieces and the nasty ones really DO fit together, and the picture they form is salvation on a national and even global level. Through Joseph, God saves his people, and in the process Egypt and the surrounding nations. (Remember the Covenant of Abraham? “I will bless you, and through you I will bless the whole world.” Here’s one example.)
In our lives, we often get hung up on the individual pieces. “Lord, this piece of my life is blurry and I don’t understand what it even is.” “Lord, this piece is dark and difficult and I don’t want to be here.” “Lord, why is my life revealing such nastiness?” We get angry at God, doubtful of ourselves, and frustrated with the world around us. Sometimes our hangup is with the more technicolored pieces of our lives. “Lord, thank you for this wonderful new job.” “Lord, my family is healthy and growing!” “Lord, thank you for Your many blessings. (Keep ’em coming!)” But regardless of which pieces we get focused on, they are all just pieces! We can’t see the whole picture of our lives until we have them all, and that doesn’t happen until much later in the process.
Like Joseph, today try to keep your eyes on the whole picture, not the pieces. And always remember that we can’t see the whole picture until we have all the pieces and discern how they fit together.