When I encounter an obstacle in my life, uncertainty sometimes causes me to question my situation, "It can't be done," "I'll never get around or through this," "I can't do it," "It will never happen for me."  This is not from God.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). 

When something doesn't seem to fit neatly into my picture (like a dissatisfying dead-end job, a disappointing relationship, a financial decline, a medical condition or a family crisis), I become unsure of how to proceed.  I don't know if I should try to disregard it, search for explanations, or concede it is just "life."  At times I end up pushing the situation aside like a puzzle piece I have no place for rather than examining it, understanding the reason it is there and determining how it fits into my life picture. 

In God's view, there is no person, event, struggle, ordeal, pain, achievement, victory or success that goes unnoticed, unappreciated, or overlooked.  Everything has a reason, a part, and a role in our lives. 
In my usual "linear" approach to thinking and functioning, I visualize a task from start to finish, lay out a plan to achieve the pre-determined goal, and proceed in a methodical way along that path, just like putting together a puzzle within the borders.

However, whenever I have fought my own nature to go (and grow) beyond my comfort zone and allowed God to work in every direction of my life without any assistance (or "Cliff-infused" restraints I place on him), I experience things only God can accomplish and things I can only imagine.

Examine those forgotten misunderstood pieces of your past and present, to understand how God has used, is using, or wants you to use them in your life.  Look at your future, not within the parameters you have created, but rather open your mind to how God created you and what he created you for.

Oftentimes, God uses odd-shaped random pieces to complete the picture he has pre-determined for us.  What may look like a random mosaic of colors and shapes to us, when looked upon from God's perspective, is a beautiful picture for our life.

We must continually keep our soul open to the fact of God's creative purpose, and never confuse or cloud it with our own intentions. 

- Oswald Chambers

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to CYdmg@yahoo.com. 

**This article first published on October 22, 2009.