A Missionary’s Shipwreck Is Not A Detour

“Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.”

Acts 28:1-2/NIV

In Acts, we read about the Apostle Paul being transported to Rome as a prisoner to meet with Caesar. He had been accused of wrongdoing by Jewish brethren, and as he was a Roman citizen, he desired to plead his innocence before the Roman leader, which was granted. As Paul was spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ, what better and more influential person to meet with than the leader of the most powerful nation at that time. Paul was carrying out God’s plan for him, but before arriving in Rome, a significant detour occurred.

While sailing to Rome, the ship Paul was aboard battled a great storm for many days, and they made landfall on the island of Malta, where they met the islanders who demonstrated unusual kindness. Paul met the “chief official” of the island who welcomed him and his party, and he demonstrated generous hospitality. The chief official’s father was sick and suffering from dysentery, and Paul went to him, prayed, placed his hands upon him, and healed. Other sick people on the island were also brought to Paul, and he healed them as well. Was Paul’s shipwreck a detour or delay with his mission regarding Rome and Caesar? It appears not! Let’s consider further.

The Bible tells us we are given gifts, skills, and talents in life that God intends us to use for His glory while completing the work placed before us to do. While reading Acts 28, at a glance, one could think Paul had experienced a detour and was taken off course. Interesting that upon arrival to Malta, he and his party were greeted with much enthusiasm by gracious hosts. Pretty quickly, Paul healed many people, and I believe Paul was not there by accident. God gifted Paul with the ability to heal people from their physical afflictions, and God had Paul exactly where He needed him. How can this concept apply to us?

God created us with specific skills, talents, and abilities which we should utilize to complete the work He has planned for us. There are times in life when we followers of Jesus Christ are seeking to achieve the mission before us, but we may experience a detour or delay. We may consider a detour or delay occurring, but perhaps God changed our path for a bit for an additional essential mission. When we complete the unanticipated assignment, we will return to the predetermined course and work. In the future, while doing the work God has placed before you to do if a delay or detour occurs, smile and say: “God has me where he wants me, and I will do the work He has placed before me to do!”

Self-reflection consideration: Have I had times in life when I was doing the Lord’s work, and a delay or detour happened, and I was presented with unexpected opportunities to be a blessing to others?

Many blessings to you!

6 thoughts on “A Missionary’s Shipwreck Is Not A Detour

  1. c.f. leach April 21, 2022 / 3:05 AM

    Great post! It is all in perception. We must realize that delayed is not denied. Those books that you have for suggested readings have you read them? Blessings and Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    • James Reasor April 21, 2022 / 9:25 AM

      Very true! Our timing is not God’s timing. We may look back over our life and feel like a detour occurred when actually God may have led us in a direction for season to do work that he wanted us to do. Yes, and delay does not mean we are being denied.

      The Lord Is My Strength is a book displayed on A Faithful Sower which I wrote. One of the books will be coming later this year. The other one I have not read.

      Thank you for your feedback and taking the time to read the devotionals posted on A Faithful Sower. Many blessings to you!


      • c.f. leach April 21, 2022 / 6:44 PM

        The books I wrote are in the bookstore and I just finished one last year entitled Understanding the Seasons of Your Destiny. Hopefully will be coming to a bookshelf near you! Blessings and Peace!


    • Darryl Orrell April 21, 2022 / 9:07 PM

      Hi, c.f.leach,

      I read the book “Not So By Myself” by Payton Garland and found it to be an excellent book. Here is an excerpt:

      “God never leaves you nor forsakes you.” I’ve heard that before. “Jesus will leave the 99 to come after you.” I’ve heard that one too. Meanwhile, fear creeps up when life hurls a season of loneliness our way, and poof! Churchy sayings hold as much weight as thin air. Believe it or not, God is cheering us on and inviting us to thrive amidst the loneliness. Yes, it’s weird and scary, but this emptiness is a safe space where you get to hear the God of everything speak the loudest.”


      Liked by 1 person

      • c.f. leach April 23, 2022 / 8:48 AM

        I like his transparency and his perception. I am going to have to get that book. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Darryl Orrell April 23, 2022 / 10:46 AM

        Yes, Payton is an excellent down-to-earth author, and her second book is in the making. Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

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