One of my favorite traditions for the holiday season is to sit back with a bowl of popcorn and enjoy the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a story of the impact each of us has on the world as we know it. We may think we’re insignificant in the scheme of things, but as George Bailey discovers at the pivotal point of his life, the world would not be the same without us.
Of course, in the movies, there has to be someone in charge of making sure that a perfect ending happens. Case in point, the guardian angel, Clarence, who has not yet earned his wings. He’s been following George’s life from the day he was born. He witnessed George at save his younger brother from drowning in an icy river. He saw him fall in love, set aside his own dreams of becoming the world’s greatest architect, and put everyone else before himself because he was just that kind of a guy.
When push comes to shove, George is about to lose the business he kept alive after his father’s death. He faces bankruptcy, public humiliation and the loss of everything and everyone he holds dear. This is where Clarence steps in and finally finds his own place in the rank of angels. He shows George the impact he had on others and the reasons he should go on living.
Have you ever been in a spot like George? Have you felt that you were insignificant, unimportant, disposable? I think we all face those thoughts at some time in our lives. Maybe that’s why I like this movie so much. It shows us that we all have value in some way or another.
There’s another story that talks about that same thing, but it’s not just a story. It’s true. The Bible tells us exactly what God expects of us – perfection. Because we were born sinners, it’s impossible for us to be perfect, so God provided a means for us to obtain perfection. It was through Him – through His great love for all humanity, that He took on human form, became our brother, experienced all the things that we do, but never sinned. He was the perfect sacrifice – the unblemished Lamb of God. He died for us. He forgave our sins. We now can approach His throne completely washed clean.
What a precious message. God loves us so much that He alone made it possible for us to be free of the thing that draws us away from Him – our sin.
George Bailey discovered that his was a wonderful life. We have that same confidence, not by why we’ve accomplished, but because God stretched out His arms to redeem us. We can rest assured that a perfectly wonderful life awaits us in eternity. In the meantime, we have a lifetime to share ourselves while here on earth.
OK, so I cried as the movie ended. I always do. I’m a sap for happy endings. I’m also thankful that our happy ending is just on the other side of eternity.