When the tiger piece doesn’t fit in the tiger space

Psalm 77

My son drops the tiger-shaped piece onto the tiger-shaped space, but it doesn’t slip in easily.  It’s askew, just a bit.

He snatches the piece up and tries again.  Puzzle piece into the puzzle….almost.  It’s slightly off again.

Bang!  Slam!  Bang!  Slam!

Subtlety isn’t his strong suit, apparently.

Over and over he tries.  He knows exactly how this puzzle should look in the end, how it will all fit together.

But it just….won’t…..go……in.

Finally, I cradle his hand with my own, helping him shift the piece, wiggle it a bit, shimmy it around until it can fit right into the puzzle with ease.

He protests with some rising pride and unwillingness to be helped:  “I can do it myself.”

But I insist.  I show him how to do it because he can’t do it on his own, not this time.  Next time, maybe.  With practice, yes.  With the skills I’ll show him, absolutely.

His resistance is familiar.  “I’ll do it myself.”

Sometimes I don’t even recognize my own little prideful tantrums and uprisings, my insistence that I do it myself, and if I just work at something long enough, maybe I’ll figure it out.

But this is what I do.

Last week, I wrestled in the night with a ‘problem.’

I felt like God was asking me to do something.  But if I did this, then that would happen and what about this possibility and that issue?  It was a train reaction of complications all initiated by my own act of obedience.

So, I lie there in bed in the middle of the night, slamming that puzzle piece down onto the board.


What if I did this instead?


What if I asked her to do this?


What if we tried it this way?


What would happen….?

Nothing fit.  I failed and failed and failed.

Finally, I stopped shoving, and straining, and making all this effort to work this out on my own and I prayed:

“God, this is not my problem.  It’s Your problem.  If You want me to do this, You’ll need to make a way for me to do this.  It’s got to be You.  All You.  Only You.  I just need to get out of the way and leave this in Your hands.”

Nothing has happened yet.  I’m still waiting.

I keep praying about it, of course, but I’m refusing to hunt for the fix or the solution any longer.  I’m just praying, “God, take care of this, please” and then moving along with my day.

This is hard.

My mind keeps slipping into the old habit, turning that problem over and over and looking for the new angle that will make everything fit.

But I think of Mary….

At the wedding at Cana, Jesus’ mother saw the problem.

No more wine for the wedding guests.  Social faux pax!  Party disaster!

She could have brainstormed solutions and considered all the posibilities.  She could have calmed down the hostess and offered strategies and fixes.

But instead, she brought the matter to Jesus, telling Him simply, ““They have no wine” (John 2:3 ESV).

Not, “They have no wine; please make them some wine from water.”

Not, “They have no wine; please miraculously keep everyone’s glasses full.”

She just told Jesus the facts of the situation: Here’s the problem.

And then she left it there with confidence, telling the servants:  “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5 ESV).

Who knows what she expected in that moment?  What possibilities had she considered?  What solution did she have in mind?

We just know that she trusted the Savior to handle the problems she faced, every detail of them,

It’s not easy, releasing that control, opening up those hands and letting the problem fall at the feet of Jesus instead of clutching it tightly to our chest.

But it pushes us into expectancy.

We hold our breath and open ours wide and we just can’t wait to see what God will do.

God, I have no idea how to fix this. 

The problem is too big.

I am too small.

Nothing I’ve thought of is the right answer. Nothing I could do would make this right.

But You are bigger and more powerful and more creative than anything or anyone.

So, it’s up to You.  I thank You in advance.  And, I sit back and watch to see You at work. It’s going to be quite a display of Your glory.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.






One thought on “When the tiger piece doesn’t fit in the tiger space

  1. Janis Hedgepeth says:

    This is a major problem for me! Having the faith to relinquish control into His Loving Hands! Thank you for sharing!

What are your thoughts? Please comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s