23 March 2015

It's A Wonderful Life - Really

Yes, I know. As we go through life, stuff happens. Some of it is good. Some of it isn't. And that's often an understatement.

I'm encouraged by Christian friends and colleagues around me to "get used to it". And to go through life with Jesus as my constant companion. Didn't He say, "I will be with you, always"? (Matthew 28:20)

Yes, He is there with me. However, the bad stuff still happens. Why? Perhaps it's understandable that folks like me soon around to questioning: if Jesus truly cares for me, why does this sort of thing still happen? Why do I hurt?

Now, as I started reflecting on this, I kept thinking about "It's A Wonderful Life". A former corps officer of mine introduced me to this film classic a few years ago; since then it has become a firm favourite of mine. The picture above is from the film, depicting George Bailey (James Stewart) and Clarence the angel (Henry Travers). A wonderful, "what if" story...

The film is all about George's discovery that a life well lived can make a tremendous difference to our world. Even if, sometimes, we can't see it ourselves. It's only when we get a glimpse of how things could have been without such an influence that you realise what this can do.

Can you imagine what a difference that knowing Christ has made to your own life? Sure, you might say. But can anyone truly know? Can they point to evidence that living your life with Christ protects you from harm? I must admit, I believe that it does. However, it's rare that any of us can ever make a list detailing the bad things that never happened to you - because the Almighty made sure that they never happened!

If only we could glimpse that other life; the one where you took that other path, made that different decision - just briefly - perhaps it would make things so much clearer...

I had that brief glimpse into my own life, recently. What life could have been like if I hadn't chosen Christ... and it really wasn't very pleasant. A wake-up call.

Dear reader, I have had my fair share of low moments. Trust me, I've been right down there in that pit of despair, right down in that mire, that 'slough of despond'. And He was there with me, in the blackness, Sure, He knows that I would prefer an easier life. We all would - but Jesus wants us to have the best. And He knows that He can use us, both you and I, to encourage and to help others...

He said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

And still He urges me on. "Trust me, it can be so much better..."

More next week...

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