Recently, I went to see a theatre production based on the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I love that movie. And I thoroughly enjoyed the creative take our local theater produced. A couple of things struck me as I watched a fresh take on this old classic.
Holidays Are Stressful
The holidays are wonderful, but they can also be stressful. This is true in 2021 more than ever, perhaps. Added to the usual stress of busyness, lack of sleep, and emotional losses remembered, now we have so many fresh losses and the the fear of Corona virus spreading through holiday gatherings. No wonder some of us are a mess!
Last week, I went to the grocery to do my Thanksgiving dinner shopping. Shoppers crowded the store, and I wanted to finish and get out of there ASAP. In the process, I bumped into someone, and she exploded at me! I immediately apologized, but she kept yelling and made a scene in the store. Wow.
Maybe she was going through a terrible time like George Bailey was when he yelled at the school teacher for sending his child out “without any clothes on.” I admit I hate that part. Teachers work so hard and, of course, it wasn’t her fault. And he yelled at his kids. I hate that too. But we all forgive him for those things (except for the teacher’s husband, who punches him for picking on his wife). We forgive him because we realize he’s having a terrible time, being threatened by Potter with jail and bankruptcy.
People Need Extra Grace
God knows what the lady in the store was going through, and I don’t. Though I’m still trying to get over it, I’m also trying to forgive her. I pray that she will be okay. I hope she hasn’t lost anyone to Covid, but odds are, she has. Regardless, we all could use a little extra grace right now, including me.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. — 1 Peter 4:10
Every Wonderful Life Is Important
In the movie, the angel shows George Bailey what life would have looked like had he never been born. Though George felt he had failed at everything, he soon realized how much he had helped others succeed and how much he loved his family and even his own life. George Bailey’s dreams of travel, education, and wealth didn’t come true, but his sacrifices made it possible for others to thrive.
Life can be hard and disappointing at times, but God doesn’t forget how hard we’ve tried. Chances are, you have helped others in ways you will never know. I love this verse from Hebrews:
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. —Heb. 6:10 NIV
As you reflect upon life during the holidays, remember to give everyone a little extra grace, including yourself. And remember that it’s a wonderful life because of grace given to us.
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