He was the most wanted man in the country. He had escaped prison, snuck on a train, and was now wandering the countryside in search of a place to hide and find help. The local government made it the highest priority to find him. He was a dangerous criminal on the loose. Signs were posted: “Wanted, dead or alive.” Was there a safe house to be found? After days of hiding out, with very little rest, food, or water, he was at the end of his rope. He sat down and prayed long and earnestly about what to do. He decided to walk to the nearest house, knock, and accept whatever fate fell before him. If they were friendly, it likely meant rescue. If foe; then death. He lifted a heavy foot up the front steps, then another. A set of sweaty knuckles rasped against the door. It was the middle of the night. Would anyone respond? A few moments later he heard someone stirring. “What do you want?” “I’m in need of help.” Silence. Then more stirring. The door pulled open, he was invited inside. He sat at a table and then the man laid a gun down between them. “I think you better tell me the real reason you are here.”
“I am Winston Churchill. I was taken as a prisoner of war and have escaped. Will you help me?”
Winston Churchill would eventually become one of the most famous men in the world after leading Great Britain through World War II as Prime Minister. But now he was a young British officer and a war correspondent serving in South Africa. He was taken captive during a battle and was able to escape, but knew that re-capture meant certain death. He had laid his cards on the table, how would the man respond?
The man stood with gun in hand, walked over, reached toward Winston, shook his hand, and said, “Thank God you knocked on my door. It’s the only house for twenty miles where you would not have been handed over.” Winston, though in enemy territory, and in their eyes deserving of death, found life through the hand of a friend.
Romans 6:23 says, “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We deserve death as a result of our rebellion and sin that separates us from God, but Jesus came to rescue us from this sin. He did this by giving up his own life. By dying for us. “God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
This man risked his life to save Winston in a hostile country. When was a time someone showed you kindness when you needed it and least expected it?
Dear Jesus, we give you thanks for caring for us and rescuing us when we didn’t deserve such love. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. Please help us to trust you and to look to you to find our ultimate hope and purpose in life. Help us also to extend that same kindness to others, even those whom we might think deserve our wrath.