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Acts 28:1-10 (NIV)
Paul Ashore on Malta
28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. 7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
How has God used disasters in your life for ministry?
Things don’t always happen the way I have planned. There are situations in life where I am forced to take a path that I did not choose. Whether it be sickness, death of a loved one, an accident, loss of a job material possessions or finances, or other things that made me change direction or just stopped me in my tracks, I was in a place that wasn’t planned. Sometimes the unplanned circumstance gives me opportunities, connects me to people, or takes me to physical and spiritual locations that I would have missed without the abrupt change in course. Paul was captive and in chains for something he didn’t do. He was shipwrecked and then got bit by a poisonous snake. None of that was in his plan. Lord, help me learn from Paul. He trusted in Your plan. He used his opportunities to meet new people and share Your gospel in places that would have been missed without the abrupt change in course. People were watching him. He was not brooding but was making himself useful by building a fire when he got bit by a snake that should have been a fatal blow. Sometimes bad stuff happens even when we are doing good. Paul shook the snake off of his arm and continued to serve. He was unharmed. Help me to have the perseverance and character of Paul. When I am thrown a curve, help me to trust that You are in control, help me to find ways to continue to be productive and active for You as I work through the situation. And when I am bit by hurtful things, let me just shake it off and continue to follow You. Let me realize that what I do and how I respond to adversity is used by You. People are watching. Help me to not be a detriment to Your kingdom by my behavior, but use me in all situations to bring glory to Your name. Amen