Who doesn’t love the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”? This great classic is a feel good story about George Bailey who, although taking it for granted, has a blessed life full of provisions including family, friends and finances. I think my personal attraction to the movie is that sometimes I see myself in George with life’s realities, struggles and trials. I love at the end where he realizes that his life really does matter and he in fact does have a wonderful life.
Conversely, my least favorite portion of the movie is the whole middle section,….you know from precisely where Mr. Potter enters the story, until when Clarence saves George by jumping into the river.
The truth is, if you’re like me, many times you want to skip over the middle, difficult and unimportant portions, of your seemingly meaningless life and bring on the fantastic Hollywood-ending moments. I’d like to delete or fast-forward past those instances that wear me down, drive me crazy, test my faith, or make me say “why me Lord?” I would prefer to bypass the realities of this current season like the uncertainty of job and ministry futures and the weight of responsibility as husband and father to provide for my family. Throw into the mix those distractions like a house that needs repair, or the yard that requires upkeep or even the constant maintenance of vehicles and my blood starts boiling or worse I shut completely down.
Before long even the bride of my dreams and the children I cherish begin to get under my skin. I have found myself mouthing words similar to George’s “ You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?”
The reality is…. God knows me and He knows you. He knows our struggles, our troubles and has the answer.
James 1 tells us that when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Troubles will come. It’s not a matter of “IF”, but WHEN. And what should be our response?
When my circumstances take a southward turn and realities of this current season hits me square in the mouth, I choose to pray, be thankful for my many provisions and have joy believing that God is working in me for perfection.
So let’s not skip over the tough, and trying movie clips in our lives that shape our character,
Because after all, …..it really is a Wonderful Life.