By Edd Sterchi
A missionary’s wife was once teaching some children in Africa about the value of giving. She quoted Acts 20:35 where our Savior is quoted as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” One little African boy soaked in every word and then decided to live out her teaching, but he had no money to purchase a gift for her. Then he had an idea.
A few days later the boy brought the teacher a seashell necklace. It glistened with iridescent beauty. The woman was taken aback. “Where ever did you find such beautiful shells?” the teacher asked. The youth told her that he walked to the coast of the country to a certain spot where these shells could be found.
The teacher knew that it would have taken the young man hours upon hours through difficult and dangerous terrain to walk to the sea. “It’s so beautiful,” she said, “but you shouldn’t have gone all that way to get this gift for me.” The boy smiled and simply said, “Long walk part of gift.”
Certainly we can use this touching story to remind ourselves of the “long walk” of Christ that was a part of God’s gift to man. Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:20) to come to the earth, walk upon it, live, die, and rise again for the sake of helpless mankind. His trip was difficult and dangerous, but it was all a part of God’s “eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11).
Jesus did this willingly and lovingly. He endured hardship, ridicule, shame, and mistreatment – all for us (Heb. 2:17; 12:2-3). If we were to ask Him, “Why all this trouble, why did You do it this way?”, He would smile and say to us, “The long walk was part of the gift.”
- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.broadwaychurchofchrist.net/