A New Start: Part 1
Have you ever seen It’s a Wonderful Life? The 1946 classic is my favorite Christmas movie! Every year I sit down with a stack of presents to wrap and watch the whole thing.
There was something that stuck with me as I was watching it again this Christmas. George Bailey, the main character, really misses out on a lot of great things in his early life. All his life, his dream has been to leave the small town he grew up in, and go out and see the world. He has plans to go to college, to travel, etc., but absolutely terrified of getting stuck in Bedford Falls.
Inevitably, as the story goes (sorry if I’m spoiling a super old movie for you), circumstances happen that force George to stay put in his little town with his little job. He’s miserable. He’s grouchy. He’s absolutely horrified by his lot in life.
Honestly, though, George’s life isn’t all that bad. He has a loving wife, beautiful children, and people that depend on and care about him. So, what about George Bailey’s life is so terrible that he makes plans to end it?
It’s his perspective.
Because of a mistake, his company is about to go bankrupt during Christmas time, and he comes to the conclusion that the only way to pay off all the debt is to kill himself and trigger his life insurance policy. George, at the lowest of the lows, believes everything would have been better if he were never born. So, an angel named Clarence decides to show him just that.
The movie is really long, and I only have a few words to explain it to you, but suffice it to say that George Bailey’s life turned out to be pretty wonderful after all. His family cares about him, and the people of his little town go into action raising the money that he owes so his business won’t go under. He even indirectly saved countless lives by saving the life of his younger brother who went on to earn the medal of honor in World War II.
Have you ever had the perspective that your life is not worth living? That people would be better off without you? Well, let me tell you this:
You are special. You are worth it.
Jesus certainly thinks so. He sends you little reminders every day that he cares about you, and that the world is so much better off with you in it. Maybe, like George Bailey, you feel like there is no way out, and everything would be better off if you weren’t around. During those times, remember that we can’t see the whole story.
Our perspective is limited.
We can see only a small portion of the back of a tapestry, where all the loose threads are hanging, and there is no discernible pattern. But, God sees the front of the tapestry where the design is apparent and created with care.
This new year, I encourage you to change your perspective. “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Maybe your life hasn’t turned out the way you expected. It’s never easy, but try trusting God. He will show you that you have a wonderful life after all.
Stephanie Wilczynski has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2009. She is pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Andrews University.