Your life matters!

Gail Malick

For the first time (according to my dad), he watched the movie "It's a Wonderful Life". For those who don't know the storyline, a family man owned a buildings and loan company during the late 1930s or early 1940s. He offered loans to the local people who wouldn't normally be able to get a loan to build a house or such. These people were his neighbors, friends and fellow business owners.Due to a mishap of misplaced money, the company did not have the needed funds to stay operating. The man was in deep trouble financially, bringing him to think that he was more valuable dead than alive (the life insurance policy on him would pay his debt). He wished that he was never born. This wish was granted by an angel who was sent from heaven to help this man see his worth.As the distraught man heads back to his hometown, everything has changed. The name of the town is different. His own mother and wife don't know him. A man for whom he worked was an ex-con due to a mistake made (prevented by the main character in his former life) and the younger brother whom he saved from the fall through the ice didn't live to be in the war and save many lives by his acts of bravery.The movie brings to light the impact this man made on so many people throughout the years of his existence. At the end, the man realizes this and wishes to live again.Of course, the angel makes this happen and all the hardships this man faced before had returned. However, he understood clearly the value of his family, friends and community and was willing to do whatever it took to correct the mishap of funds.Once again, the generous hearts of the community came through and donated enough funds to cover all the debt.Heartwarming story with a happy ending but this story also represents many people today who feel that same despair for various reasons. They think their life is worthless and seek to end their lives.Do you realize another man said this same thing and he is in the Bible? Open to the book of Job and read his story. I'll share the short "elevator" version of the story. Job was a wealthy man who owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys and very many servants. He and his wife also had seven sons and three daughters.Job 1:1 describes Job as "blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil." Thus, Satan asked permission from God to test Job's faith with hopes that Job would curse God to His face. God granted the request.The following verses describe each disaster which befell Job as he lost everything he owned, even his 10 children.Upon hearing the news of his loss, "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God."Next, Satan was permitted to bring disease to Job's body. He had painful boils from the sole of his feet to the top of his head. Even through this Job says, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10)In the next chapter of Job, we read of his lament as he cursed the day of his birth. He wishes that he had never been born (just like the main character of the movie). After lots of time passes and the attempts of friends to reason with him, God then speaks to Job out of the whirlwind and helps him understand the God of all creation. In the end, Job understands that God can do all things for His own reasons. It is simply his task to remain faithful and trust the God in heaven with ALL of life's situations.In the end, God blessed Job with double what he owned before and had seven more sons and three more daughters.If you are facing hardship or great despair in life right now, be assured that you are valuable to God and to others around you. Your life matters! You DO touch the lives of others in ways you don't know or can see. Seek any help needed to keep from ending the wonderful life God intended you to have. Although the days may look dark and hopeless (just like Job), God is always waiting to fill your life with the Light of the world (Jesus) and give you hope. It is a wonderful life when God is in the center of it all!Gail loves the Lord most of all. She delights in her calling to be a wife to Ed Malick and a mother to seven children ages 23 to 40 and grandmother of thirteen. Ed is sixth generation on the homestead family farm in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan.