I’m sitting at a table with a large tray in front of me. An assortment of half-finished puzzles and dozens of puzzle pieces are waiting for assembly.

As I look at the tray, I struggle to make sense of it. I see portions of my life: time I’m spending with my family… sitting in my chair writing…cheering on my husband’s basketball team… along with a whole bunch of scenarios that I wish would happen, but don’t seem to be coming to fruition.

I sigh.

Some of the pieces fit together nicely while others look like they may belong on another person’s tray.

I’m staring at them all, wondering what the next completed portion of the puzzle is even supposed to look like.

I look up, hoping to see the box so I can see the potential final product.

But there is no box. Instead, I see God sitting across from me, watching me and patiently waiting.

It finally occurs to me to slide the entire tray over to Him. Then I watch as God moves some of the pieces around, fitting one picture with another to create new scenes that I hadn’t even considered.

With a careful but confident hand, God begins to take several pieces off the tray. He sets them aside, because even though I found them and assumed they were mine, they were never pieces I was meant to be using. As much as I wanted them to fit, they never would because they belonged to someone else.

Are you holding on to puzzle pieces that don’t belong to you? Maybe they are volunteer opportunities or work obligations that you really don’t need to add to your tray and yet you do anyway.

Are you staring at the puzzle wondering how it all fits together for good? Work on the biggest picture, the one that is already flowing. Find the pieces that fit together naturally.

Are you trying to do the puzzle of your life by yourself? Don’t be afraid to slide the tray over to God and ask Him to remove the pieces that don’t belong.

Your life is a vivid, colorful, wildly amazing work of art assembled one piece at a time. You can take heart knowing that the one who knows what the final product looks like is sitting right across from you waiting to help.