(Feature photo by Sarah Komisky and film photo courtesy of usatoday.com)
A Note From the Editor: December, 2016
A Wonderful Life!
By Selma Komisky
The angel notes, “At exactly 10:45 p.m. tonight, Earth time, that man will be seriously thinking of throwing away God’s greatest gift.”
– It’s a Wonderful Life
The holiday is quickly approaching and Christmas is in full bloom. I was looking through some old DVDs and this one particular film stuck out and reminded me of several lessons we could really think about this season.
We all are familiar with the classic, heartwarming, 1946, black and white Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” about the life of George Bailey. Ironically, the title of the movie is a paradox. It’s a story about a man’s life that’s not going so great.
He actually represents a lot of people in the world today. George was depressed and his life was unraveling in the face of failure, bankruptcy, scandal, and prison. He was unhappy and desired to escape from his impossible circumstances and town. George wished he was never born and in his desperation, he attempts to take his life. Now that doesn’t sound so wonderful, right? But I think Mr. Frank Capra (the director) had it right.
The holidays can be such a fun-filled exciting time with family and friends, decorating and shopping. We watch television actors portray these pretend, perfect characters that live in a whimsical Hallmark Christmas town that almost always has happy endings. Unfortunately, on the other hand, many people’s lives during the holidays can be a time of sadness, stress, financial hardship, loneliness, illness, and loss.
In John 16:33 in the New Living Translation, Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” Jesus gives hope in our struggles, difficulties, and problems.
Going back to the film, Clarence Oddbody, an angel, comes on the scene. He reminds me of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the “Helper or Comforter,” (John 14:16-17). Clarence’s goal was entirely focused on helping George. George was wishing he never was born. Sometimes when we’re so self-focused and blinded by our pain and circumstances, we can’t see the good. George was actually hurting.
So in order for Clarence to get his wings, he has to stop George from killing himself and show him what life would be like without him by giving him a new perspective on life. Clarence, being the good angel that he was, granted George’s wish.
Clarence knew enough about George that he was confident that George would do what was right and save Clarence if he jumped in the river. So when he saw George contemplating jumping off the bridge, Clarence jumped into the river to prevent George from committing suicide– an illustration of how Jesus rescues us and intervenes in times of trouble.
Just like Clarence heard George’s cry for help, God hears us and wants to save us spiritually. Only Christ can fix and heal our deepest pain. Jesus can pull us out of the mud and set our feet back on solid ground, (Psalm 40:2). The Holy Spirit is interested in transforming us from the inside out. God values us and we should view our lives as a gift from Him. He has a purpose and a plan for each one of us, (Jeremiah 29:11). Only Christ can fill that void in your life and see you through whatever you’re going through with His strength.
At the end, with the help of Clarence, George sees his wrong thinking and starts to live again. When we get our eyes back on Jesus, our focus is clear. I think the lesson here is learning to fully appreciate the blessings we have in our daily struggles. God wants us to appreciate how blessed we already are! God wants to give us a new perspective but we can only see when we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. We need to remember that we are never alone! Jesus (our Emmanuel) is always with us.
Our team here at Marked Ministry this season went to work to share their hearts and ideas and most of all, to share the love of Jesus our Savior. Our prayer for you is to savor your time with your loved ones and to appreciate the things that matter. Jesus is the true gift!
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!