Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If We Had Never Been Born....

I could go on and on for weeks about the movie It's A Wonderful Life and the many lessons we can learn from it, but I am going to wrap up our conversation today, with a lesson from Clarence.

If you have ever watched this movie in its entirety, you have probably come to love Clarence as much as I have. He is such a down to earth angel, with a good sense of humor, a lovable personality, and a heart full of wisdom and love.

One of my favorite quotes from this movie occurs when Clarence is talking to George, in the moment that George realizes that his own mother does not know who he is. George is suddenly acutely aware that something supernatural is happening, and that Clarence had granted his wish of having never been born.

Watch this brief clip below, and pay attention to what Clarence says to George: (email subscribers must visit my blog to view the clip

Clarence said: "Strange, isn't it? Each mans life touches so many other lives. When he isnt around, he leaves an awful hole, doesnt he?"

George Bailey had spent his entire life selflessly serving others, at his own expense. George did not really view his service to others as a hardship or a sacrifice, he just did what he felt was right. He tried to live an honorable life and be a good man, even if it meant putting his own wants and needs on the back burner.

Everyone could see his value, except for George, until Clarence granted his wish.

To help you see the big picture, lets review a few of the things that would have been different in Bedford Falls, had George never been born:

- His brother Harry would have drowned at age 7, because he would not have been alive to save him from the ice cold river
- All the men aboard the transport ship in the army would have died, because Harry would not have been there to save them had he died as a child
-Mean old Mr Potter would have taken over the whole town, and turned it into a community of strip clubs, bars, pawn shops, prostitution and immoral practices
- The old druggist would have spent his whole life in jail for an accidental poisoning of a child, had George not been there to prevent it
- A child would have died due to taking that poison instead of medicine
- That child's family would have been changed, and future generations altered
- Uncle Billy would have spent his life in the insane asylum
- His friend Violet would have become a prostitute out of desperation and hopelessness, because nobody was there to lend a helping hand when she needed it
-Stores would no longer be in business, and store owners out of work
- His wife Mary would have never gotten married, and become an old maid and librarian
- Georges children would not have been born
- His beautiful restored house would still be in ruins
- The townspeople of Bedford Falls would not have any homes of their own because the Bailey Building and Loan, whose specialty was to help people purchase homes, would not have existed.

Wow - that is a lot of impact that one man had on a community - especially when we consider the fact that George was completely unaware that his life mattered at all.

As a result of being blinded to his own self worth and the value that his life had on others, George had lost sight of the value of life. He had lost faith in himself, and as a result, he was blinded to the impact that he had on other people.

Clarence helped George to see that his life mattered, and that God had placed him in his community, in his family, in that time in history, for a purpose.

George pushed past the feelings that everything was falling apart around him, and fought back his greatest, and chose to embrace the gift of life to the fullest.

Most importantly, George realized through this experience with Clarence - and with God - that he mattered.

George saw the bigger picture, with the help of his angel, and was able to see that God had been orchestrating every detail, every occurrence, and every interaction in his life. He realized that he had been a vessel for God, and his reward, was life.

One of the main things that helped open up the eyes of George Bailey to see that life really was wonderful, was when he realized that not only was he blessed, but that he made a difference in this world.

Seeing how God had used him unknowingly throughout this entire life, caused George to experience a renewed faith in God, and a reawakened faith in himself.

Sometimes I think we fail to realize the impact that we have on others, and as a result, we fail to realize how important we are on earth, and to others.

We fail to see how one touch, one phone call, one prayer, one kind letter in the mail, one word of encouragement, or one helping hand, not only impacts people, but impacts Gods kingdom.

Although we do not have a "Clarence" to show us details about our significance, we can take a look back in time and consider ways that God has used us to impact others, and to glorify Him.

The lesson we learn from these profound words of Clarence, is that WE ALL MATTER.

Even when we have doubts about our self worth, God sees our value, and He wants us to see our value in Him.

Ask God to open your eyes to your own value today. Ask Him to help you see your worthiness in His eyes, and not the eyes of the world, or even your own.

Consider how the world would be different if you had never been born, and the gaping hole that would exist, had you not been a part of this world.

Take a new look at yourself today, through Gods eyes, and from His perspective.

Even if life doesn't seem wonderful on the surface, trust that God is still at work, walking with you, shaping you, and using you to fill a purpose that only you can fill - purposes that you have already met, and purposes that you have to accomplish.

Also, pray about how God wants to use you in the coming year to meet the needs of others, and serve others in His name. Pray for Him to guide you in all your steps, and to continue to use your life to touch lives and impact hearts for Him.

What a wonderful time of year to remember what a wonderful life we have Jesus.

Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (NIV)

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (NIV)

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