In Acts 27 and 28 we find the Apostle Paul shipwrecked on the island of Malta. He has spent over fourteen days in turbulent seas, being tossed backwards and forwards, and then has had to swim ashore, after the ship struck a sand bank and refused to budge. Wet and tired he drags himself to shore. The islanders greeted Paul and those with him, with unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed them (Acts 28:2). The Maltese had no idea that a representative of the King of kings had just landed on their island, but they were soon to find out. God used the Apostle Paul to heal the chief official’s father, and many others were cured as well (Acts 28:9). No doubt Paul would also have preached the gospel to the Maltese as he was with them for three months. No way would Paul have let such an opportunity pass him by. How refreshing it must have been for Paul to have been received so open-heartedly and warmly. This was not always his experience. In some ways Paul’s time in Malta must have felt like a holiday. He was still a prisoner, but other than the snake bite, no other negative experience is recorded during this time.
Being shipwrecked in Malta was not part of the Apostle Paul’s agenda, but he still allowed God to use him in that circumstance. In the book of Romans we read that it was Paul’s ambition to preach the Gospel where Christ was not known, and this is exactly what he did in Malta (Romans 15:20). He sowed where he was temporarily planted, and God worked with this faithful servant and confirmed His word by the signs that followed (Mark 16:15-20). I wonder what circumstances you find yourself in right now. Are you in a different place geographically or situational to that which you expected? My encouragement to you today is to sow, and grow where you’re planted. Your present circumstance may be a surprise to you, but not to our God. He can meet you and use you wherever you are, if you are willing.
Prayer: Father God, help me to be like Paul who continued to preach and live the Gospel no matter where he found himself. I too want to be someone who continues to both sow and grow wherever you plant me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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