Lessons I’ve Learned from George Bailey – #3

It may be a few days after Christmas but I still want to share some of the things I’ve learned from watching George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life.

Lesson #3: “Sometimes God keeps you in a place much smaller than you feel you were made for specifically because you need to learn lessons that can only be learned in a smaller place.”

This might sound confusing at first but honestly, this was one of the things that stood out to me the most when I re-watched “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

As I look at George’s story I notice that he tried to leave Bedford Falls, several times in fact, but there was always something holding him back:

  • George’s dad passed away and the board voted to keep the Bailey Building and Loan from being dissolved.  The one condition was that George had to stay on as the head of the Bailey Building and Loan.  Crap.  I bet he didn’t see that coming.
  • His younger brother Harry went off to college and was supposed to eventually come back and take over for the Building and Loan so George could finally go to college.  Harry married Ruth and took a job with her father’s factory, leaving George no choice but to stay in Bedford Falls.  Strike two.
  • Sam Wainwright offered George a job, remember the “chance of a lifetime”?  George turned it down and ended up marrying Mary.  How many times do you think he wished he’d actually taken that job and moved out of Bedford Falls with Mary?

I’ve had more than a few people talk to me about why God has them where they’re at.  Sometimes we wonder why God has us in more obscure, less-limelit places when it’s “obvious” that we were created and gifted for something greater, right?  So why aren’t we in those “greater places”?  Why are we seemingly stuck where we aren’t feeling fully used?

Our job is not to question why God has us where we’re at.  News flash: that’s His business, that’s why He’s God.  We have to push down our arrogance (guilty as charged) and humbly embrace our calling in the here and now.  Our job is to make as much out of these opportunities and trust that when we’re ready, God will call us to where He wants us next.

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