Speaking of the cold… Can you figure out this rebus word puzzle?
If you got that one, can you get this one? You’re getting warmer!
Over the past few weeks, the girls and I have been working hard to solve a collection of rebus puzzles.
Some of them are so obvious, you can’t not see the answer right away. The letter “P” with an arrow pointing up above it? That’s “Pup,” of course.
Some of them require a little out-of-the-box thinking. The letter “S” with a rabbit next to it? Srabbit? Sbunny? What’s another word for ‘rabbit’? Oh! It’s “Share”!
Others you feel like you could stare at for hours and never figure them out. The letter “G” with a circle underneath it? “Go?” Nope, that’s not it. Oh – how about “Ground?” Nope. It took weeks, but we finally got it – “Underground”. Get it? The “round” is “under” the “G”. 🤦
Every time we open up a new ‘level’ in this app, we flip through the puzzles and do our best to solve them. Some we get on first glance, some take a little collaborative thinking, and some leave us saying, “We’re never going to get that one!”
But, guess what? We always do – and then say to each other, “How did we not see that?”. Once you’ve “seen” the answer, not only can you not unsee it – you can’t imagine how you ever didn’t see it in the first place!
Hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately, foresight – or even in-the-moment sight isn’t! Hard situations and crisis moments can leave us feeling puzzled and unsure of what to do. There are so many times I wish God would just hand me a list of “Instructions on How Mandy Desilets Should Handle This Exact Situation”. (Wouldn’t that be great?) He’s promised to guide me and I’m looking to Him for help, but sometimes I feel like I’m staring at the picture thinking, “I can’t do this!”
In Psalm 25, David sings about the ways God guides us:
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long…
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
(Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9)
Because our God is “good and upright”, He doesn’t just keep all that goodness and uprightness to Himself – He is always actively leading us, as His children, toward goodness and uprightness. He does this by revealing His own ways to us and instructing us in how we, as humans, can act in those ways as well. As our Guide walks in front of us, so can we put our feet where His feet were and walk in the direction He points.
Life would be a whole lot easier if I always walked in His ways, but as much as I want all that goodness and uprightness to characterize my life, the forces of fear, judgment, and pride tend to speak just as loud (if not louder) and I end up letting them guide me instead. Although I wish I never had any failures, every time I handle a situation poorly I can look back, see clearly what I should have done, and let it become something my faithful Guide can use to show me the right path.
When we look at our rebus puzzles now, after completing several levels, we have a strategy:
- Details. Though not every detail of the picture is significant, you have to break it down into parts. Does that little stem off the top of that pod of peas resemble a letter? Yep! That’s an “R” which means the answer is “Pear”!
- Position. Short words like on, in, of, or, and, etc… find themselves inside lots of other bigger words. An “ant” “on” an “F”? Or is the “ant” “in” the “F”?
- Synonyms. Sometimes the word is just is what it is, but sometimes it’s not. That’s an “L” floating in water. Is that water “liquid”? Some “waves”? A “lake”? The “ocean”? A “sea”?
- Big Picture. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and end up trying too hard. It’s a picture of an upside-down hanger. Is there a letter in that? A number? A shape? What’s another word for “hanger”? Oh! 😂 It’s a “bat” – an “upside-down hanger”!
Every time I’m facing an “I don’t know what to do! I can’t handle this!” situation and I’m looking to my Guide for help, there’s a good chance the Holy Spirit’s going to point backwards – not to shame me for my mistakes, but so He can use the hindsight I now have from a previous situation to guide me in this one.
- Details. Does this situation resemble another that I’ve faced? It may not be exactly the same, but there’s a good chance I have been here before.
- Position. When I faced this situation previously, where was my heart in relation to God’s? Was I laying it open in trust? Or was it closed up in fear and doubt?
- Synonyms. What were my options for action/reaction? How many of them were based on fear, judgment, or pride? What did I choose and how did it work out for me?
- Big Picture. Was I overthinking then? Am I overthinking now? Do I need to step back and think about the obvious, general commands and ways of God?
The first verse of Psalm 25 is: “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.” Trust doesn’t come naturally – it’s built over time and every opportunity that’s placed in front of me is a stepping stone. I might not know exactly what to do, but letting the Holy Spirit use that 20/20 hindsight view will give me some clues!
If you get that, can you get this one?