As we head into the heart of Christmas this week, how fitting that our THIRD gift in the theme of Gifts Galore is the gift of a MANGER and the manger represents a MIRACLE. During this time of year, we tend to take greater notice of this—one of the greatest miracles of all when our savior was born of a virgin. This gift of miracles reminds me of a song we used to sing called I Believe In Miracles. Below are the words of the chorus:
I believe in miracles, I’ve seen a soul set free
Miraculous the change in one redeemed through Calvary;
I’ve seen the lily push its way up through the stubborn sod.
I believe in miracles for I believe in God.
~Carlton Buck and John Peterson
Speaking of miracles, in the hit Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, lead character, George Bailey, becomes disillusioned and discontent because his life doesn’t play out according to his plans. He finds himself as the father of four children living in a drafty old house that continually needs repairs in the tiny town that he had always planned to leave in pursuit of loftier places. If you are familiar with the movie, then you know that George Bailey comes to his senses and realizes he has much to live for.
George Bailey did not come to his senses alone—did he? And, neither can we. Oh, as independent as some of us are, we are reminded how little we are when we go it alone. Even God—who is the Creator of the entire universe, wants relationships, which is why there is you. He is reaching out to each and every one of His creations extending His love and requesting ours in return.
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. ~ Ephesians 1:3-6 (MSG)
Isn’t that passage profound? Doesn’t it just make you want to jump up and HUG God and say THANK YOU?! Not only are you a miracle, but you are someone who Jesus settled on as the focus of his love. Are you shouting Hallelujah right now? I know I sure am because that passage shares the amazing and miraculous power of our Mighty God!
In George Bailey’s darkest hour of despair when he felt like he had lost everything, a fledgling unangel-like angel came to the rescue. Clarence was George’s miracle that saved his life. With Clarence’s creative help, George Bailey’s eyes were opened to the impact he had on others, and more importantly, the greater sense of thankfulness for who he was. He returned to a better self because in that time of despair, he had found his purpose. He was still needed and loved. And, not only was he loved by his family and the community at large, but he discovered that he also had so much love to give. He had so much more of an impact ahead of him.
Like George Bailey, YOU have so much to give and so much more of an IMPACT ahead of you. You are a miracle and the world needs what you have to give. Just maybe, you are feeling a lot like George Bailey; however, and you can’t see the forest through the trees. You feel that in order to accomplish what you are striving for, it will take a miracle. Sometimes, all each of us needs, is HELP!
What we forget is that we have the POWER OF CHRIST through us to bring us through those times of need.
We need that reminder that no problem is too big, no mountain too high, no valley too deep, because we have a MIGHTY GOD who helps us, and often that help comes in the form of other people. I know that there are a lot of people out there who have helped me and my family along the way and vice versa. Where would we be without a little help from our amazing God and a few fine friends?
As you think about where you’ve been and where you’re going, just remember there is a God who is there whispering:
Don’t hold back.
Don’t wait for someday.
Don’t stay in the shadows.
Take that leap of faith!
Maybe just like George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life, you will find yourself in the company of someone you least expected helping you move to a place of recognizing the miracle of life. Not just this physical life, but a new life with the Savior.