Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me (Psalm 23:4)
We have been following the sequence of events in the life of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George postpones his dreams of traveling the world to run his father’s business and loan company when the father suddenly dies. He postpones going to college so his brother can. He does marry Mary but he sees his friends being successful. We pondered George being offered a job by his archrival Mr. Potter yesterday and how he resists the temptation that again dangles before him his dream of traveling the world. George goes home to Mary in a grumpy mood and asks her, “Why did you marry a guy like me? You could have had any guy in town!” Mary responds, “I didn’t want any guy. I wanted my baby to look like you.” George suddenly grasps the announcement, “Mary, are you on the nest?!!!” Discouragement has turned to hope and peace as George realizes love has brought forth new life and a new future.
Sometimes in the midst of discouraging times, we can find the strength to carry on when friends affirm, offer new perspectives of the potential of a situation, and walk with us. My daughter was offered a job that she did not feel fit her talents but agreed to the interview. They did offer the job and she declined. They came back, “Write your own job description because we believe you are the person we want.” Wow. Joseph has envisioned what life will be like with Mary in the Biblical report. He did not plan on the pregnancy nor a trip to Bethlehem. But in the midst of the struggles to live, a child is born that outshines the problems.
We all are walking in the midst of challenges but as we travel with others we can be sources of affirmation and be the eyes that help another see the potential of trying times. We find peace in problems with the help of encouragers that see God at work and help us see it too. Let’s be encouragers in the birthing process of Christmas this year. Blessings.