For several years my son and I served as the Collection Center Coordinators for Operation Christmas Child. We received thousands of gift-filled shoeboxes from churches in the North Florida region and packaged them in shipping cartons for transport. We quickly learned the most efficient ways to arrange the boxes to get as many as possible in the cartons. We turned them this way and that and searched for small boxes to fit in small spaces. It was like a real-life game of Tetris.
We like it when things fit together well – when there is order and balance. But things in our lives don’t always fit neatly in place, do they? Like that scary diagnosis or the spouse who walked away. Losing your job didn’t fit in with your well-planned life and that hard-headed, rebellious child of yours has turned your home into chaos. Maybe depression has wrecked your tidy world. If only life cooperated with our well-thought-out plans.
When God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, He commanded them to build an altar for burnt offerings and sacrifices but “do not build it out of cut stones. If you use your chisel on it, you will defile it” (Exodus 20:25). Doesn’t that seem odd? Wouldn’t a perfect God want a perfect alter made of perfectly shaped stones? But God did not want man’s “perfection.” I believe this is because true worship – the kind that honors God – comes from imperfect lives. And isn’t that all of us?
Try as we might, we’re not going to make all the pieces fit neatly together. But when God takes the fragments of our lives, the odd shapes and sizes, and even the rubble, He makes something beautiful. Something that speaks of Him – not us – to a world full of imperfect, broken people. Real life is not neat and tidy. It’s messy and misshapen and shattered. But God can take your imperfect life and turn it into a beautiful testimony of His grace. Put all the pieces of your life – and your heart – in God’s hands Beloved, and worship at the altar of His love.