For I came down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38 NASB
One of our traditions every season is to watch the beloved classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” No matter how familiar I am with every scene, I always come away touched in a new heart place.
One Christmas Eve, the prayers of many go before heaven’s ear on behalf of George Bailey. Standing on the edge of an old, iron, snow-covered bridge, George wishes he’d never been born and is ready to end his life in the icy waters below. He has no idea how blessed he truly is until he has an encounter with the lovable apprentice angel, Clarence. Life stands still for George as he is taken on a journey of his life and sees what it would be like for those whose lives he touched if he’d never been born.
Humbled by the rush of supportive friends who come to help in his time of desperation always brings me to tears as I recall the countless times our friends came running to our family’s aid in times of despair.
The final scene has an elated man, grateful for life, running through the streets of Bedford Falls, gratefully wishing everyone and everything a “Merry Christmas.”
The best Christmas stories are about changed lives. It’s easy to personalize the spiritual message of the classic and our own lifetime reruns.
What if Jesus had never been born? Picture a vacant crèche. What would the world be like if Emmanuel hadn’t been transported from heaven to holy womb, to come to earth to live among us and die for all?
The Bible would end in Malachi with God’s silence. Our prayers would be wasted breath falling on a distant ear.
There would be no tears when we sing “Silent Night” because there was no silent night. No forgiveness, no hope, and no Christmas.
Every holy season reveals more of Jesus and His amazing grace in my life. I don’t need a George Bailey moment to realize that without Him I would still be on the same destructive path.
Jesus could have been born a thousand times in Bethlehem but He needs to be born once in each of us in order for us to have a changed life.
How would your life be different if Jesus had never been born? How would the lives you have touched been different without you?
Remember . . . it’s a wonderful changed life because Jesus came.
Photo courtesy www.bleedforit.blogspot.com
Verna Bowman is a freelance writer, speaker, and Bible study leader. She posts weekly on vernabowman.com to encourage women one story at a time. She works as a medical secretary and patient advocate. Her love for journaling turned into writing God’s amazing stories in her life. Her works are published in Guideposts, Cup of Comfort Devotionals, Power for Living, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Women’s Day Magazine, and Christian Devotions. Verna and her husband Jeff live in a small Pennsylvania town with their cat, Glory. She is the mom of four adult children and “gramma” to five very adult grandchildren.