While reading the book 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders, I came across a story of a missionary serving in the South Sea Islands. The missionary was teaching his people about Christmas. “The giving of gifts is a spontaneous act of celebration over an extremely joyous event. And that,” he explained, “is why many people give gifts to others at Christmas time. It is an act of celebration over the joyous occasion of the birth of Christ.”
Following this teaching, one of the young men of the village wanted to give the missionary couple a gift for Christmas, but since it was a very poor island, presents were not readily available.
On Christmas morning, a knock came to the door of the missionary’s hut. Opening the door, he found the young man, who gave him an extremely rare and particularly beautiful seashell that was found only at the distant end of the island.
The missionary thanked the young man for giving him such a rare and beautiful gift from such a distance, to which the young man replied, “Long walk part of gift.”
What an awesome sentiment: “Long walk part of gift.” This story reminds us of those in the past, such as the apostle Paul, who gave up a life of comfort and safety, and took upon himself the difficult life of a missionary to take the message of the gospel to the Gentile people in the surrounding nations.
Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 2:1-2:
“You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.”
It also reminds us of those who took the time and that God used to “long walk” in our lives: the gospel message. Who was it in your life? Was it a neighbor, a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a coach, a spouse, a friend, a co-worker, a pastor?
In closing, let us take a moment to give thanks to God for His Salvation in our lives, and for the person(s) He used to “long walk” in our life. Let us also ask God for opportunities to “long walk” in the lives of others.