And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire…
The focus of this passage could be what I left out: a viper bit Paul and nothing happened to him. The viper paid for his deed by getting thrown into the fire. Instead, here is my focus: Paul, An Apostle of Jesus, starter of more churches than can be counted; A Pastor of pastors, a mentor of many; writer of over half the New Testament. What is he doing? After several weeks at sea, getting ship wrecked because the people would not listen to him, he is getting firewood: He is serving others. To Paul, his desire was to be like Jesus, and Jesus would have got firewood.
How simple, and yet profound it is, to maintain a heart of a servant your entire life. I find great joy in touching people’s lives by helping them. The blessing I receive in return? I had almost 20 people drive over an hour to help Tammy and me unload a 26-foot truck in less than 30 minutes (with only one day’s warning). How cool is that! Praise God I have many around me who desire to collect “firewood” too!