“But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”1 Corinthians 12:18
I enjoy puzzles – crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, a good mystery. I especially enjoy the satisfaction of finally seeing the big picture when enough of a puzzle or mystery is solved. When I read 1 Corinthians 12:18, I imagine God placing people into a giant “life” jigsaw puzzle. Each person is placed not just where, but when God wants him or her.
I experienced a “big picture” moment several years ago in Sunday School. I remember a grade school Sunday School teacher I had once upon a time, many decades ago here at First Dallas. I was old enough to remember her and to appreciate all that she did each Sunday to teach our class of girls. She was a happy lady, especially so since she was married in the year she was my teacher. Fast forward many decades to 2016. Imagine my surprise when I discover that I am a Sunday School teacher for one of her grandchildren! Then, the next year, another grandchild came through my classroom. The puzzle pieces began fitting together. Part of what she poured into me I able to pour back into her family. It was such a revelation at the time: The importance of the ministry of discipleship and being part of something much bigger – like the body of Christ! She served me as my teacher and helped me grow, and now, I am serving others as their teacher, helping them grow.
But, the big picture isn’t complete until the last piece is in place. Consider the potential I’ve seen in our children this year: kids who excitedly chose mini-Bibles over candy as a reward; a boy who figured in about 30 seconds how many points there are in a memory book; another who quoted over 18 sections of memory work in six minutes. I have several budding artists, one who asks deep questions, others with deep answers. There are good readers and good commentators—even a very accurate historian—kids who are goal-oriented and those who want to be kind and helpful. The list goes on! What will these kids be later in life? Who will they influence along the way? What will they do through the power of the Holy Spirit? God knows, and He places them where and when He desires.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” Romans 11:33
Sunday School is an exciting ministry! Children are full of potential. Proverbs 25:2a says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter…” Consider with me a sovereign God whose master plan has unimaginable twists and turns, puzzles and mysteries for us to discover as the big picture unfolds before us. Perhaps one of my students will someday teach my grandchild. Praise God!