Life Is Beautiful

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Perhaps you remember this movie.  It was a truly wonderful movie about life, family, love, and enduring great trials.  It won 3 Academy Awards in 1997 including Best Actor for Roberto Benigni.  If you have not seen the movie, I highly recommend watching it. It is truly inspiring.

One thing jumped out at me as I thought about not just this movie, but life itself.  Life is beautiful indeed, but it isn’t always fair.  It rains on the just and the unjust alike.  I recall a proverb in the Bible about some guys that went out and worked hard all day.  Another guy came along late in the day and only worked a short time, but got equal pay.  The guys who had been working hard all day thought, “What is up with that?!”  They complained, but the Master basically said, and I paraphrase, “That is none of your business.  Whatever I choose to pay him I will pay.  I paid you what I promised.”

Life throws us curveballs continually.  I recently had the opportunity to listen to a testimony of a friend of mine who had gone through severe health issues.  It was very difficult for him since he was single and also he had his own company.  In other words, nobody had his back.  Many of his friends helped out, but it was still very stressful economically and physically. The bottom line message he gave was about learning to give thanks in all things.

I heard that testimony and thought how great it was, then walked outside and saw that somebody had smashed in the front end of my car.  No note.  Talk about rude!  Where is the fairness in that?  Within an hour my wife called to inform me that we needed 4 new tires on her vehicle, and we needed them NOW!  I looked up in the sky and you can guess what I was thinking, “Why me?” (I was not very thankful at that moment!)

When you are tempted to ask “Why Me?”, or “When is this going to end?”, catch yourself.  That is the wrong question.  Despite the circumstances, the hardships, the setbacks, or the roadblocks, God is still in control.  The question should be, “What’s next?”  Ask that with anticipation of God’s grace, His Mercy, His provision over you and your family.  His love endures, and nothing is too big for Him to handle.  Then thank Him in advance for what He is doing now and what He will be doing to help you through the trials you face.

God is amazing to me.  Thank Him, then trust Him.  He is like Coke…He is “The Real Thing.”  Like FedEx, He always delivers.  Like a Mother with a newborn child, He knows our frailties and loves us totally.

Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange were happening to you. This is part of the ebb and flow of life.  You don’t deserve a ribbon for just showing up.  If you are drifting through life and just going with the flow, try swimming against the current.  Two things will happen.  First, you will go where YOU want to go, not where the current takes you, and second, you will gain strength from the resistance you face.  If the current is strong, you may need a boat and motor.  Don’t give up.  Don’t give in. Get creative and stay the course.  Believe in God.  Trust Him, then set out to change your world for the good.  Life is indeed beautiful, but it is also fleeting and fragile.  Treat today as a precious gift.  That is why they call it “The Present.” It truly is a gift from God.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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