The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.
Paul was being sent to Rome to stand before Caesar. The voyage from Caesarea was arduous with the ship getting caught up in a fierce storm and the stern breaking apart. Amazingly no-one was lost and all soldiers and prisoners made it safely to dry land. The land they arrived at was the island of Malta. The native people would have heard the ship run aground and then seen all those on board fight their way to shore. They knew that a lot of these men were prisoners, still, they made a fire for them so they could get themselves warm.
The chief of the island, Publius, was informed and he personally made sure they were taken care of for the next 3 days. During this time, Paul heard of the illness that the chief’s father was suffering from and he prayed with him and healed him. Publius did not show kindness out of selfish motivation; he had no idea who Paul was. What he received because of it, however, was far more precious.
This, of course, caused all those who were sick to come and see Paul. What a time of ministry he must have had during the three month stay on the island. He shared the gospel of the Lord Jesus and demonstrated the power of God through healing all those who came. Paul tells of how the people ‘honoured us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed’.
God’s hand was upon Paul’s life and although his Christian journey was fraught with extreme difficulties and distress, it was also showered with acts of kindness. You are no less important to God than Paul and he has a path for your journey. There will be bumps and ditches along the way but God will always be watching over you and sending kindnesses along the way, reminding you of His steadfast love and that His hand is always upon your life.