Have you seen the movie Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase? It has got to be, hands down, the best Christmas movie ever. What other movie can you laugh until you cry? Where you can look at each individual character and pinpoint exactly who they are in your own family. My husband and I used to have the Christmas Vacation Trivia Party at our house each year. We invited 20 of our closest friends, made them dinner, then had them fill out the trivia sheet of 50 questions we’d come up with from the movie. Then, we would all gather around the TV as we laughed, cried and would see how well our memory served us as we graded our trivia answers. It was the best attended event of the season and one particular couple always won! Each year the questions got harder but they inevitability knew exactly what the answers were.
One of the most poignant scenes to me in the entire film is when all has gone to hell in a hand basket. Clark Griswold asks his dad, “how did you make it through all of those family Christmas’?” to which his dad responds, “I got a little help from my friend, Jack Daniels.” Some of us may guffaw at the answer but so many more of us can relate. I will admit there have been times in my life that I’ve gotten to the brink and rather than asking God to help me through the moment, I’ve decided that having a drink (or a pain pill) was the way I decided I would alleviate my pain. That would be quicker than God can take care of it, right? Certainly there is nothing wrong with having a few drinks—but, when we decide to hide behind the numbing effect of the alcohol or drugs instead of dealing with the emotional trauma we are going through, then it becomes a problem. One such trauma occurred in my life when my brother died twelve years ago. I walked around in a fog wondering what I had done to deserve such a rotten lot in life. Time progressed. I worked through the grief that takes time. Slowly, the fog began to lift and I decided it was time to deal with the truth and emotional baggage I had drowned with prescription drugs and alcohol.
So, where do we go from here? We remember:
- God did not design life the way we are currently living. He created the Garden of Eden, perfect and unblemished, and mankind messed it all up. We will NEVER be fulfilled in this lifetime. There will ALWAYS be a void in our lives that only God can fill. The only time we will ever be completely content, happy, fulfilled, etc. is when we hit heaven’s door. God designed it that way so we would look forward to eternity with Him. II Corinthians 5: 1-10
- We also know there are times in this life we have to deal with the consequences of our own actions, the consequences of someone else’s actions, or the crummy side effects of life here on this sin filled planet. In the last 4 weeks cancer has taken parents from 2 of my friends. A friend of mine lost her daughter to a drunk driver. Divorce has ripped apart another family and children are still reeling from the fallout. All are a result of sin. The whole world is groaning waiting for Christ’s return. Romans 8:22
- If you are in the midst of the fog and using drugs or alcohol to deaden the pain you are feeling—you will eventually have to push your way through the pain. Why not decide that today is the day that you begin to fight through the pathway that is unclear and allow Jesus, the light of the world, to help you find your way. Psalm 119:105
I sometimes wish there was a movie explaining the reasons life is so crappy … then I remember that there is a story—it’s a true story about why we celebrate Christmas. A story of a little babe that came into this world because God loves us so much and wanted us to have another option. The option of eternal life with Him, where the world will once again be perfect like He always intended it to be. Will you take Him up on it?
Tomorrow—The Twelfth Day of Conflict—7 Days with Jesus
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. II Corinthians 5:1-10