Paste It, Daddy!

In the quintessential American Christmas movie classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, the main character, George Bailey, played by James Stewart, comes home from arguably his worst day ever to find that situations there are no more tranquil than those he left at the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan. He finds, among other crises, that his daughter Zuzu is in bed with a fever, presumably because she was presented a flower at school and wouldn’t wear a coat on the way home for fear of crushing it. Zuzu’s concern for the flower continues as she shows the it to her father, including two or three petals that have fallen off. Believing that her daddy can make everything better, she begs him, “Paste it, Daddy!”, meaning he should restore the flower to its perfect condition. Accommodatingly, George pretends to reattach the petals to the flower, secretly slipping the fallen petals into his pocket. He then reassures Zuzu, kisses her forehead, and tucks her back into bed so she can rest.

This morning, while praying in my half-awake/half-asleep state, I felt deep remorse for a particular sin. I begged my heavenly Father, “Fix me, God!”

In His mercy, God kindly revealed to me that I’m asking Him to “Paste it, Daddy!”, when in fact, He doesn’t transform us through a quick, once-and-done fix.

Jesus was born on Christmas to save every single person from the punishment for their sins. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Salvation occurs at once when a person acknowledges his or her sin and asks Jesus to be their Savior. It is immediate, once and for all. Sanctification, however is the process that changes a person little by little, more and more, as we abide in the Vine that is Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:17 explains the process of sanctification: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." We are transformed into individuals who reflect the perfection of God incrementally, bit by bit, as we spend time in prayer, spend time studying the Bible, and yield to the Holy Spirit Who guides and counsels us in righteousness, or right living. Of course, we do not reach perfection here on earth, and we don't become transformed all at once, but we can grow closer and closer to that state through participating in the process of sanctification.

Portions of Ephesians chapter 2 also presents this explanation: Eph. 2:8-9 tell us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” And later in this chapter of Ephesians, the explanation is given that “In him (Christ) you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Eph. 2:22.

While our desire may be to demand, “Paste it, Daddy!”, God’s plan is to gradually make us holy, taking us through the transformation process in His time, taking a lifetime to complete it. Believing that God is a good Father, we can trust Him to know that His ways are perfect and His plan for us , including this process, is good.

You might even say it’s wonderful.