One Piece at a Time… Object Lesson on God’s Plan for our Lives

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Have you ever skipped ahead to the end of a book just to see how it ends? Do you often wonder what God could possibly have in mind when certain things happen? This lesson provides a quick challenge to illustrate our limited view and God’s big picture. Younger students may not be too occupied with the future, and may not even grasp the more abstract concepts of this lesson; however, young and old alike can enjoy the puzzle element and appreciate the overarching scope of the message: God knows all things and helps us handle life one thing at a time.
Activity: Have students put together a jigsaw puzzle. Begin by giving the class a simple, age-appropriate puzzle with a box or picture available to see what they are putting together. Allow the kids to work as a group (or split groups if necessary for size purposes) to complete the puzzle. Step back and admire the fine job they did together.
Then explain they will be putting together another puzzle. This time, though, they will not be able to see the picture of what the puzzle is going to be. They will also only receive the pieces one or two at a time. Hand students the puzzle piece by piece and allow time to put it together. Then gather to discuss the project. Was it frustrating to put the puzzle together without knowing what the end result would be? Is it easier to have the picture in front of you?
Significance and message: For older kids, brainstorm (and then explain, for older and younger) how this activity might relate to our lives…examine a few verses:
Ecclesiastes 7:14 (God controls and creates all things, so just appreciate what you have)
When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (God has a great plan for your life, even if you cannot see it right away)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 19:21 (We can have an idea in mind, but God ultimately orchestrates events)
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Matthew 6:25-27 (Worry about just one day at a time, because God will take care of you)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
God knows what the big picture is for our lives. He holds the end result and can see the box with the image on it. Yet He only gives us the puzzle a piece at a time. He knows what we can handle and does not want to overwhelm us, so He guides us through as we figure out how everything fits and falls into place. When we truly trust the puzzle designer and place our lives in His hands, we can hold hope that in the end things will work, even if not as we expect. The best we can do is live one day at a time and let God be in control.
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