“Then I saw all the work of God … For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.” – Ecclesiastes 8:17
John Spilsbury was looking for a way to teach geography to children. Born in England in 1739, he developed a simple idea. Drawing on his engraving skills, he attached a world map to wood and carved each country into a separate piece. Children would be challenged to fit the pieces together. In the process, they would gain a greater sense of the world and see the part played by each country.
Spilsbury’s idea became an enormous success, spawning the development of many types of puzzles, all based on the same concept of breaking down whole pictures into smaller parts and challenging participants to fit the pieces together.
These puzzles give us a picture of life, which can seem like a giant riddle. Our challenge is to put these pieces together, seeking to understand the whole.
This is a never-ending process. The Bible tells us that, at every stage, “Our knowledge is partial and incomplete.” We never can know more than “part of the whole picture” (1 Corinthians 13:9 NLT). We even are warned that God has made it impossible for us to “find out the work that is done under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:17).
Ultimately, this process is designed to help us realize our limits and turn us to God to seek His wisdom.
As you face the beginning of a new year, ask God to give you wisdom about the future and help you put together all the pieces.
What puzzle pieces are you hoping to fit together in the new year?
Father, I seek Your wisdom and direction for my life. Guide me. I commit my way to You. Thank You for directing my path. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading