I LOVE jigsaw puzzles. I used to do them once in a while but I really got into them when I was sent home from work in March of last year as the pandemic lockdown began. I had a couple puzzles on hand that were donated to me and used them to pass the time. After I completed those, I shopped online for some more and discovered a whole new world. There are puzzle themes for every holiday, mood, and memory you can think of. Besides the feeling of accomplishment I feel when I complete one, I get just as much out of the process of putting it together.
I study each piece. Look for similar colors/patterns. Figure out how they fit into the big picture.
And when I successfully complete a puzzle, I want to tell the world. Or at least my friends on social media.
As I work on my habit of reading and studying the Word more, I’m discovering I follow a similar process.
I study a verse or a passage. I look for thematic patterns. I learn how it fits into the big picture – the redemption story.
Does the Bible feel like one giant puzzle to you? I admit that I’ve often been overwhelmed by the enormity of it.
For a puzzle as intricate as the Bible, you might need some help putting it together. Here are a few things I’ve been using to help me study:
1) A good study Bible. It explains the origin of the book you are studying, explain what was happening to the author and the people of that time, and why it was written.
2) A Bible commentary. Like having a personal Bible scholar at your fingertips. It can definitely illuminate topics that are difficult to understand.
3) A Small Group! My Small Group is spending the first quarter of this year studying Psalm 23. Working together to study a passage like that brings unexpected depth to your study that you can’t always experience alone. It’s just like working on a jigsaw puzzle with family or friends. Socializing while puzzling/studying is good for the soul!
Like Pastor Brian said in a recent sermon, “One of the best decisions you can make in this new year is a commitment to read God’s Word, the Bible!” Don’t let the enormity of the task overwhelm you. Enjoy the process.