"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give." (George MacDonald)
A young boy in Africa gave his teacher a Christmas gift. It was a beautiful seashell. "Where did you get this?" she asked. The child told her that such shells are found only on a certain faraway beach.
The teacher was deeply touched, because she knew that the boy had walked many miles to find the shell. "You shouldn't have traveled so far just to find a gift for me," she said. The boy smiled and replied, "The long walk is part of the gift."
This boy, wise beyond his years, probably didn't know that he was conveying a truth about Jesus Christ. He gives the wonderful gift of eternal life to all who believe in Him (Rom. 6:23). It's a treasure that carries with it forgiveness of all our sins, and God's never-failing love (Rom. 8:28-39). Christ's gift also began with a journey. He left the splendors of heaven to come to our sin-drenched earth. He took upon Himself our humanity (Jn. 1:14) and walked the long road to the cross. There He bore our sin and all its penalty. And when I say to Him in gratitude, "It's too much, Jesus. You shouldn't have done it." I can picture Him looking at me with love-filled eyes and saying tenderly, "The journey is part of the gift."
"Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends."