The sofa! You rip off the cushions! You find a pair of scissors, a couple combs, some candy wrappers and miscellaneous change but no puzzle piece. Next, you get on your hands and knees and search the floor. Nothing! You look suspiciously at the cat. And, finally, resign yourself to the fact that the piece has been lost or the manufacturer is guilty of poor quality control.
You go back to working on the puzzle and as you get nearer its completion, you suddenly see IT - the missing piece. It was right there, right in front of you all the time! How could you have missed it?
I'm sure that is how Philip, one of Jesus' disciples, felt when Jesus fed five thousand with 5 barley loaves and two fish (John 6:1-15). Jesus had asked Philip, as they surveyed the large crowd which had followed Jesus into the wilderness, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" Philip got out his calculator and figured out that "eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" And, even if they had the money, there was no place around to buy what they needed.
How silly these disciples were. These disciples had seen Jesus change water into wine, give sight to the blind and make the lame walk. Could he not take care of this problem too? The solution to the puzzle was right in front of their eyes and they didn't see it. How foolish they must have felt when Jesus, the Lord of the Harvest, fed them all and had food to spare.
What about you! What do you do when you have problems for which there seem to be no solutions? It could be a battle-scared marriage that seems beyond repair, a teenager who has gotten into drugs, or a conflict at work that seems so complex that no one could help resolve. You've talked to all your friends. You've mulled it over a thousand times in your mind. You just know that there is no solution in sight. Or is there? Don't we often do what the disciples did? We forget about Jesus?
Jesus is the answer to every problem. He can help fix a marriage that’s on the rocks. He can guide us as we deal with a troubled teenager or teach us how to cope with a difficult situation at work. He gives us guidance from his Word and strength through his Holy Spirit. Since Jesus took care of the greatest problems of all - sin, death and hell, he can surely help us through the others as well.
When you face a puzzling situation in life, don’t forget about Jesus. He’s the missing piece.