By Kaylyn Lanier
Christmas! I truly adore absolutely every aspect of it: the family gatherings, the traditions, the decorations, the music, the movies (Hallmark Channel, y’all!), the food…EVERYTHING. In fact, that one month of December just cannot contain my entire love for it all. The Christmas bells ring out loud all year long in my playlist, I promise you! Some folks might say I have a problem. I say they just don’t understand.
Speaking of Christmas movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my favorite films, a classic, all the way from “George Bailey, I’ll love you till the day I die” to “Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!” (And everything in-between…I can quote it!) It not only takes us back to a simpler time, but also inspires us to reflect on our own lives. (If you somehow have not yet seen this masterpiece, consider this your spoiler alert!) The story follows one man’s life from childhood to adulthood when, on one Christmas Eve, a crisis overwhelms him. Shaken, he begins to think it would be better if he had never been born, that his family and friends would be better off without him. Suddenly, mercifully, an angel steps in to show him just what his wish would actually mean. When the man realizes how rich his life already is, the crisis is resolved. Happily-ever-after!
Movies make happy endings look so easy, don’t they? Crisis dissolves into celebration in two hours flat, wrapped up like a gift under the tree. “If only,” right? I don’t know where these words find you today. I have no idea what crisis may be attacking you during this holiday season. You may be alone, or wishing you were. You may be reading this article in a hospital waiting room. You may have no idea what havoc the new year will bring…or you see it all too clearly. Like George Bailey, you may think everything would be better off without you. But I am here to tell you that whatever your crisis is, it doesn’t define you. Don’t you dare buy into the lie that you are worthless or that things are hopeless.
As much as I love all things festive, the truth is, glitter and traditions tend to fall pretty short when we need a sense of worth and hope. We must remember THE reason for the season: a baby born two thousand years ago in a shabby little cave. He wasn’t just any baby. This child was Jesus, the Son of God, born into the world to bring HOPE, JOY, PEACE, and LOVE…not just to the world, but to you! Yes, YOU! Don’t miss the wonder of it all. Jesus was born for you. You are so precious to God that He did not send a mere angel to you to simply show you a possible life. He sent His very best, His All, His SON for you, to GIVE you Life! What a gift, yours for the taking!
So, as the holy-day season swirls around you, whatever it brings…stop. Take a minute. Recognize the beauty in your life. Discover all the blessings around you. I promise, they are there, because Jesus is. You matter to Him. You are special to Him. He is a wonder, and because of Him, we truly have a Wonder-FULL life!