Janet and I are big fans of the Hallmark Channel. In case your aren’t familiar with the programming, Hallmark floods the channel with “feel-good movies” that are designed to have you walk away with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Most of their movies are made for the various seasons and I think that there were approximately 20 new movies just for the Christmas season and we are now on the Valentine’s Day movies.
In fact, there are three new movies each week and Janet makes sure that she records them all. What’s interesting is that there are so many people out there who absolutely hate the Hallmark Channel. They think the movies are sticky sweet and leave nothing to the imagination. In all fairness, most of the time these critics are correct. These movies don’t have deep, complex story lines. They are meant to entertain and the formula is time tested and familiar to those of us who watch.
The first 30 minutes or so the characters are introduced and development of the story continues throughout the rest of the first hour. Somewhere about halfway through the movie, a problem presents itself and the main characters work together to solve the dilemma. Then, at about 90 minutes in, there is some sort of misunderstanding, followed by a break up. However, precisely 10 minutes before the end of the movie, everything comes together and everybody lives happily ever after.
You can take my analysis to the bank. The format of the programming doesn’t change. But you know that in the end, everything is going to work out okay and there is something very comforting in that.
Several days ago, I admitted to Roger, a good friend of mine, that sometimes I have concerns about people getting too used to the format I use for my posts. If you have been with us for any length of time, you know it – first a story, followed by a verse, then a short encouragement and closing prayer. I do it that way so if people have limited time to read, they can go right to the part they are looking for and not worry that I have changed something.
Roger responded that he liked the way I did things – because it was like watching a Hallmark movie – the plot never changes even though the characters do. And then he told me that knowing where the story is going is part of the beauty of the story – he never gets tired of them!
I’ve thought about his words throughout the week-end. He’s right. I don’t leave much to the imagination. The stories I recount affirm that there is something comforting about knowing that God is there and at the end of the day, it’s all going to work out okay. Furthermore, that God is present in our everyday lives – He didn’t just create the earth and walk away – He is present and active – every day. No matter how we mess things up, God is there to put it all in order at the end. And even though the people in our lives change during the various seasons of our lives, God is constant.
Our verse for tonight reminds us of one of the promises of Jesus, as recorded by the apostle Paul in his book to the Romans. He tells us, in Romans 8:26-28, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants to live life with us each and every day. My prayer is that no matter how things seem to get messed up in your life, like we see on the Hallmark Channel, God will make sure that in the end, it will all work out according to His purpose. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…