The Big Picture

Have you ever looked closely at mosaic art? The kind where a bunch of smaller images make up one big picture? I have a friend who created a photo mosaic poster as a birthday gift to her brother. She labored over it for months. When it was done, the final poster – a photo of their family on a recent vacation – was 2 feet tall, 3 feet long, and made up of more than 800 quarter-inch square photos from their childhood. You needed a magnifying glass to see them all clearly! And yet when you got up close, each picture was preserved in tiny, perfect detail.

Here’s the thing. When you put your face right up to the poster, it just looked like a bunch of cute but isolated little images that had been scaled down and put in rows without any apparent rhyme or reason. But when you stepped back and looked at the whole poster, it became crystal clear that all of these individual pieces made up a critical part of the bigger picture.

I think our relationship with Jesus can feel a lot like that mosaic. Our limited human perspective can cause us to question God’s ultimate plan – for our lives, for our families, for our world, and even for our eternal future. It can seem like we’re each just individual squares moving through this life, placed in rows next to one another without any real rhyme or reason. We’re the spectators, the ones standing with our faces pressed against the poster looking (often with confusion!) at all the separate little squares and wondering how they fit together.

But God…He’s the Artist. The One who labored over every little detail. The One who created each piece with love and intent. The One who determined in painstaking detail the order in which they would go. The Artist doesn’t make mistakes; He makes masterpieces. Colossians 1:16-17 (NKJV) says, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” When God stands back to view His masterpiece, He sees each tiny piece. But He also sees the bigger picture. And because He’s perfect, His creation is perfected through Him.

Sometimes it’s not easy to journey through this life, through the triumphs and the tragedies and the milestones and even the daily grind, with only our narrow perspective. Things happen that defy reason, whether in our personal lives or in the bigger world around us. If you can say you’ve never once asked God, “Why?” then you’re either a liar or a saint!  As flawed people, we have a natural tendency to question things that don’t make sense in the scope of our limited human logic. But God knew before time began the role that each of us would uniquely fill in His grand plan for humanity. He created every one of us to live here, now, in this time in history, and gifted each of us with a particular purpose. As followers of Christ, we’ve been called to share the Gospel with the world. Jesus left His disciples with that Great Commission, and He leaves it with us still today. Plan A is you and me. And there is no Plan B.

One day, we’re going to stand before the Father, and we’re going to see the Grander Design that He made us all a part of, in all its glory. And on that day, we’re not just going to see the individual pieces anymore. We’re going to see the big picture. His masterpiece.