As I have been working around in my house today my television has been on the Hallmark Channel because they are playing the Christmas movies and I am a sucker for happy endings. I watch It’s a Wonderful Life every year and have a copy of it in my own movie library, what is it about these classics that make me turn to them again?
In “Wonderful Life”, George Bailey is a good-hearted fellow giving of himself until there is nothing left. What he didn’t notice was that as he was giving his life to help people, he was gaining friends, friends who would ultimately save him from financial ruin and jail! As the movie ends we see George surrounded by friends and family, he notices a bell on the Christmas tree as it starts to jingle and we know that Clarence has finally gotten his wings! Happy endings both! But you finish the book and close its cover; the music swells on the movie and then “The End” scrolls across the screen.
If life were a Hallmark movie we would have problems but they would all work out, music would be playing from some unseen orchestra, we would kiss and live happily ever after! If your life hasn’t turned out that way, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger (Hi Ho Silver, Away), there are a lot of people just like you!
Consider the prophet Elijah, who had performed many mighty miracles. He was feared and revered as a man of God, but one day Jezebel, decided she wanted his head and he ran from her! Who knew that a prophet of God could be made to run, hide in a cave and cower under a Juniper tree praying to die? As he hid, “the Lord said to him, (1 Kings 19: 10) “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” God set him straight (18) Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” Elijah thought he was alone in his service to God, but God informed him there were others who had been as faithful as he!
In a Hallmark movie Queen Jezebel would have looked at Elijah, realized that she was deeply in love with him, forsaken her idols, fallen on her knees, asked forgiveness of Elijah and his God and they would have wandered off into the wilderness toward her richly appointed castle and lived happily ever after. In the real world God saw that Elijah had just about reached the end of his rope and told him to go and anoint Elisha to take his place, but then something wonderful happened! Elijah and Elisha were talking (2Kings 2:) And so it happened. They were walking along and talking. Suddenly a chariot and horses of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it all and shouted, “My father, my father! You—the chariot and cavalry of Israel!”… He took Elijah’s cloak—all that was left of Elijah!—and hit the river with it, saying, “Now where is the God of Elijah? Where is he?” When he struck the water, the river divided and Elisha walked through. I would say that’s an ending even Hollywood couldn’t imagine.
Has everything turned out, in my life, the way I wanted it? No, but I know it is not the end of the story, not by a long shot! As long as I have faith, I have hope, and so can you! Believe you are not alone, Merry Christmas!