The Christmas gift - James C. Bell

Johnny was a young lad of ten years old. He lived on a farm with his mother and father, five brothers and two sisters. He was the youngest in the family, but he still had to work hard in the fields, helping to plant the crops and keep the weeds out.

He loved to work along side his grandfather, for the grandfather was always telling a story of something that happened long ago. It seemed to make the time pass more quickly, and helped Johnny to enjoy the long days in the field.

One day, Grandpa told about a little boy just about Johnny's age, who had to work in the fields with his dad and brothers. They were not farmers, they were shepherds and their job was to watch a herd of sheep and keep them from wandering off and getting lost, or killed by wild animals.

As they watched their sheep one night, they noticed how many stars were shining in the sky. They saw one star that was very close to the earth and shined more brightly than all the rest. It seemed to shine its light over their tiny village and one particular place, as if it had stopped there.

Suddenly, they saw angels in the sky and bright lights, and they were singing and praising God. Then, one of the angels spoke. He said they should rejoice and praise God because a Savior had been born this night, and He was Christ the Lord! He said they should all go to the light and see this new baby for themselves.

All of them left the sheep in the field, knowing they could round them up later, and went to see this Christ child. The young boy couldn't walk as fast as his older brothers, so he was left behind, but this was always the case, for his right foot was much bigger than his left, and turned in so that he had to hobble along slowly.

As he came to the stable where the baby was with his mother and father, he saw many shepherds gathered around Him. There were cows and sheep in the stalls as well, and it was so crowded, the small boy couldn't get close to the baby, but he wanted to see him and touch him.

He felt strangely that, if he could touch the baby, he would be blessed. He crawled between the animals' feet, right up to the baby's cradle, and stood up beside him. As he looked into the baby's eyes, he felt that the baby actually knew him, and he was blessed just looking at him.

Later, as he walked along with his brothers to look for their sheep, he noticed he was able to walk as fast as they did. He looked at his right foot and it looked exactly the same as his left!

It wasn't swollen or turned in or hurting as it usually did. This was his blessing. Somehow, his foot was healed, and then he remembered looking into the eyes of baby Jesus, and he knew the Lord had healed him.

He called to his brothers and showed them his foot, and how he could run and jump for joy. They all marveled at this miracle and praised the Lord.

Johnny asked his grandfahter how something like this could happen, and what the story really meant. He said, "Johnny, nothing is impossible for the Lord. If we have faith in Him and trust Him, He will bless us in ways we never dreamed could happen."

Johnny thought about this story a lot during the next few months. It was getting close to Christmas, Jesus Christ's birthday, and Johnny wanted to give a gift to Jesus, because, he thought, Jesus is always giving to all who trust Him and blessing them all.

But He rarely gets a gift from anyone. We are all too busy thinking about what we want to receive and what we should give to others that we forget about Jesus' birthday. Johnny mused, "I know what I can do for Jesus-I'll tell Him I love Him and believe in everything He does. I'll give myself to Him, completely. This will be my Christmas gift for Jesus."

His gift for all who believe and trust Him is the greatest gift of all-Eternal Life!