Missing Pieces

Earlier this summer, I came across a deal for a wooden Adirondack chair. It needed to be treated and put together, but I thought I could manage that, even though I am not particularly handy. I spent a Saturday morning staining and on Sunday I began the assembly process. The one glitch was the missing piece in the back of the chair.

I hate taking things back. Honestly, I tried to rationalize being able to get by without that missing piece, even if it might not look the greatest. But I realized that I had paid for all the pieces, so I politely contacted them to see what they could do. I now have all the pieces and a nice chair.

I find it disturbing how quickly my mind jumped to settling for a chair with a missing piece. Where else might I settle for less than all the pieces?

In college I attended Christian leadership camp. One of the speakers expounded on God as our Father. Coming from a very fractured home, I struggled with this. I claimed God as my king and my place as His servant. I wanted little to do with the Father-daughter image. I had to grasp that a poor copy (my earthly father) did not invalidate the original (my heavenly Father).

There are many facets to God, but we often focus on the pieces we are comfortable with and neglect the others. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Just those three can trip people up. But all three are necessary to a balanced faith.

Theologian J.I. Packer wrote in Knowing God, “The Father proposes redemption, the Son secures redemption, and the Holy Spirit applies redemption.” I confess that I struggle the most with the Holy Spirit. Do I believe? Yes. But He seems wildly dangerous and I’m not a dangerous kind of gal. Yet, where would I be without His promptings or insights or nudges (or shoves) that keep me growing?

God is

  • Father (Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 64:8)
  • Friend (John 15:15)
  • Redeemer (Job 19:25)
  • Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
  • the Great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14-15)
  • Servant (John 13)
  • Counselor (John 14:16)
  • Shepherd

And so much more!

Even those who walked with Jesus missed aspects of who God is. Consider Luke 22:24-27.

A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Or consider this:  Jesus was arrested and one of his followers drew a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest in Matthew 26:47-56. In the first, they could not conceive of a servant king. In the second, they could not conceive a kingdom coming without weapons.

There are so many more examples! And of course, I have a few missing pieces of understanding too.

What aspect of God do you find it hard to grasp?

How do you think your relationship with Him would change if you had fewer missing pieces?

Will join me in praying for God to expand our view of Him?

Amy Brooke

Amy grew up in Cincinnati, OH. After school at the University of Evansville, Amy spent 11 years on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship doing ministry to college students. While on staff she helped coauthor the book InterVarsity Press book FAITH ON THE EDGE. After working with IVCF, Amy got her MA in counseling and spent several years working in social services. Amy currently lives in Normal, IL and works for the county government. Amy is a passionate about children and helping others.

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  1. Hi Amy, Thank you for that vivid picture of settling for less. I will join you in praying your an expanded view and to know the full breadth and depth of God’s love.

  2. Thanks for sharing. God is so much more and we often choose to view him in certain terms. I did a study this year as God as our beloved. He desires to be the lover of our souls. That really got me thinking about his love for us, how intimate and sweet it really is.

  3. Fatherhood: A true challenge on many levels! LL

  4. I grew up in a broken family – totally broken. Sometimes I think that trained me to “settle” – because I was not worth the whole “chair.” Too many people settle for broken-ness – when wholeness is there for the asking. People just don’t want to “bother” other people. I have learned not to settle – and to fight for “not settling.”

    The Holy Spirit, I think, is the most un-taught about part of the trinity – but it is the strength that made Peter after the day of Pentecost never back down from His Lord again!

    It is the “bridegroom” I have a hard time grasping. I can see that there are things I can to to my Father about – and a different way of communicating with my “Bridegroom” – but I just cannot wrap my mind around it.


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