David Livingston Stands
By Lynn Wallace
Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel (Phil. 1:27).
David Livingston, a missionary to Africa, stood for the Lord as he fought native diseases, the slave trade, and ferocious beasts. By his gentleness and kindness, he won the hearts of the natives, but few converts. When opening up the interior of Africa, his beloved wife died. He endured separation from his children. Because of his courage, the heart of Africa opened up to the gospel.
Mr. Livingston found it difficult pioneering where white men had never set foot. In one region he moved to, Mabotsa, numerous lions lived. One slaughtered several sheep and the natives went after it. They fired several shots. This lion rushed out of the bushes, grabbed the missionary by the arm, and crushed it. (This maimed his arm for life. His false joint later served to identify his body.)
Mabalwe, his native teacher, distracted the lion when he saw its paw on Mr. Livingston’s head. At once the beast pounced on the native and bit his thigh. Then it dashed toward another man and caught his shoulder. Soon the gunshots took effect and it succumbed, falling over dead.
David Livingston stood against the ravenous lion, Satan, with all his wiles. With a breaking heart he sent his children back to England to protect them from a heathen environment. He said, “To orphanize my children will be like tearing out my bowels...If I leave my children anywhere in this country, it will be to let them become heathens” (Blaikie, David Livingston). This brave missionary died on his knees in the heart of Africa.
What about us? God may not call us to be a missionary. However, when God said, “Stand fast in the Lord,” He spoke to every believer. Do we stand for the Lord when people call us names or threaten us? Are we faithful witnesses of the gospel?
O Lord, Help me stand for the Lord as David Livingston. Help me remain faithful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
My book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women, is all about standing for the Lord against the pirates. See my bio, about my book, and speaking at www.writingfrommyheart.com.