In 1946 one of the best films ever made, was released by RKO Studios. The film was called “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
I try to watch it before Christmas every year, as many other people do. It’s just too much of a classic not to.
But not long ago, as I was talking with someone about this movie, my emotions bubbled to the surface and started leaking out of my eyes. As I thought of the movie’s message and what it means to me, I couldn’t help but wonder how many suicides this movie has prevented since it’s release 72 years ago.
How many people have gone through life seeing dream after dream crushed by circumstances and between-a-rock-and-a-hard place decisions? How many people have been able to sympathize with the character of George Bailey as he tried and tried to get ahead, but was always forced to make a moral choice resulting in him having to sacrifice while others accomplished their dreams?
How many people have watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” at a time when they were contemplating jumping off their own snow-covered bridge?
I’d say the number is far more than anyone can imagine.
So, if you get a chance to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again this year (or for the first time), remember that there are a lot of people who are struggling with life, whether or not it’s better to die than to keep living with disappointment and shattered dreams.
Pray that God will continue to use this classic to spread the message that every life is precious, no matter the circumstances, no matter how much a failure we think we are.
And even when all seems hopeless, as it does at one point for the character of George Bailey, be reminded that angels are real, God knows what we are going through, and an unexpected resolution might be just around the corner.
Just don’t lose hope and keep others from jumping.