A recent Google Doodle reminded me that my childhood is even further away than I thought. The doodle commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, which was brand-spankin’ new when I was, um, in grade school. The puzzle entertained my classmates and me for many recess hours. I considered it a monumental achievement to get just one side of the cube completed. Then I’d look at the other five sides and realize how woefully inadequate I was to put the whole puzzle together. No matter how I twisted and turned things, it only got worse. In my hands, the original design would never be restored.

I had a classmate who was a master with the cube, and in frustration, I’d finally hand the mess over to him. The first thing he always did was destroy the part I’d worked so hard to assemble. He’d twist and turn my one-sided masterpiece, until it looked just like the disaster I could make. It was once again seemingly scrambled beyond repair. Inevitably, though, with a little bit of patience and a lot of wrenching turns, his thorough knowledge of the puzzle always prevailed. With order restored, the cube became a perfect design of color and symmetry.

I always knew it could come together, but try as I might, it would never happen in my hands. Left to me, it was limited to a one-sided solution at best. But in the hands of a master, the scrambled, twisted mess wasn’t even a challenge.

In the struggle to retain my life dreams and somehow make them happen, I’ve sometimes felt like a Rubik’s Cube. Just when I get one side of my life falling into place and making some sense, I realize that so much else is beyond my control. I am helpless to solve things, and in fact, I make a bigger mess and create more pain.

It’s only when I hand it back to the Master Puzzler that there is hope. He may twist and change the whole puzzle, and it may appear to me that He’s just created another disaster beyond repair, yet I know that my puzzle is never out of His control. Sometimes the transitions, twists, and turns of life make me creak and groan. I don’t understand, and I don’t see the solution. Sometimes I wonder what on earth He is doing with my life, but I’m so thankful that He understands what I can’t. With a lot of patience on my part and an expert series of twists on His part, life takes on a whole new dimension.

The Master Puzzler often takes His time revealing that new dimension. He may choose to turn the cube a little more slowly, drawing out the groan of the jumbled mess. He may allow great pain to course through my life. But He knows the solution; He knows the way I must take. And He can get me there.

By the way, I don’t even try to work Rubik’s Cubes anymore—even one side. I guess after enough frustrating bouts with the puzzle, I learned to leave it to those who know what they are doing. Abraham learned to do the same. After enough frustrating endeavors, he left his life in the hands of the One who knew what He was doing. Abraham knew God wouldn’t disappoint him. Better yet, He surprised him.

LW-2 cover*Excerpted and adapted from Living Whole Without a Better Half (Kregel 2014), which just so happens to be on a great sale this week! Lucky you!!

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