In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when George Bailey is given a glimpse of what things would be like without him, he sees his lovely town of Bedford Falls turn into the morally degenerate Pottersville.
One of my friends jokingly said, “Pottersville is a more interesting town to live in than Bedford Falls.”
I told him, “You’re missing the whole point of the movie!”
You see, the movie, with its message that every life has a purpose and a meaning, is my top favorite Christmas movie of all time. When George Bailey sees how much his life makes a difference in his small town, Clarence, his guardian angel says, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
I’m pretty sentimental and that line makes me cry every single time I watch the movie. It’s so easy to look around at all the negativity in the world, in the nation, in your hometown, in your very own life and feel disheartened and disillusioned like George Bailey. I find that to be especially true around the holidays when you are supposed to feel joyful and hopeful and things are just going wrong or not how you planned.
It’s frustrating. You may feel hopeless.
But there is hope, and He came in the form of a man named Jesus Christ. In Paul’s Letter to the Romans, he writes, “Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, character produces hope, and hope will not disappoint us.”
It may seem odd to think that suffering and perseverance in that suffering can bring out something good. But think of the time in which St. Paul was writing—and think of, for example, a blacksmith making a sword in a fire. The only way to make a sword is to place it in the fire and bang it with a hammer over and over again until it is strong enough to withstand any battle.
The same is true in our life. When we withstand suffering and persevere, it makes us that much stronger. The same was true in George Bailey’s life. His wasn’t an easy road, but he persevered.
Comments? Questions? Want to share your favorite Christmas movie? Please do!