by Joel Lawler
I love the Christmas season. It is my favorite time of year. I enjoy reflecting on the miracle that is Jesus' birth. What an amazing way for the God who created the entire universe to come into our world. Who could have ever imagined He would choose to be born in such humble circumstances.
One of the traditions that I enjoy is watching the movie "It's A Wonderful Life". It is by far my favorite movie. It is the story of a guy who has these huge dreams and ambitions but finds himself stuck in a small town scraping by. While bigger stories seem to be going on all around him, he feels very trapped in his small story. One of his childhood friends becomes very successful in the plastics industry. His little brother becomes a war hero. Meanwhile, he stays the course, never leaving his little town or pursuing his dreams. His world comes crashing down around him and he becomes very frustrated. He has had it with being on the sidelines of life. He is tired of the role that he is playing. His life in Bedford Falls becomes a burden to him. He loses hope and heart.
God pulls back the curtain and reveals the plot to the whole story. God does this by showing George Bailey what a significant part he is playing. George gets a view of what life would be for those around him had he not been there. It is a very dark world. His seemingly insignificant part is much bigger than he could have ever imagined.
George gets to see how his kindness changed lives. He gets to see how his selflessness was the reason the bigger stories were happening all around him. His little brother, the war hero, was alive to be a war hero because George saved him from drowning.
George wanted to be an architect. Little did he know that he was a builder of lives.
This movie carries God's message to you. You matter. You may not see it, but you have a purpose. There is a reason why you are here.
Your life touches those around you. Your story is built on theirs and their story is built on yours. The role you play directly affects those whom you come in contact with.
A couple of verses in the book of Proverbs says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.
God is the author of The Story. All of us are cast members in that story. He is writing it out. It is his story to take the direction he so desires. He has chosen to include you in it. You have been given life, therefore you have significance.
We, more times than not, are not going to know where God is going with The Story but we can trust that he is good and that he loves us. As the verses say, trust him. Our knowledge and perspective is very limited. The view from where we are is extremely limited as well. We cannot help but get off track if we are living out of our own understanding. We have to set our thoughts on something bigger than ourselves.
God surprised us by being born to a poor teenage girl. She gave birth to him in a barn. God seems to enjoy taking the simple things and making them extraordinary. You can never know the full impact that you have, or the lives you touch, but God is working it all out.