• Robert Lee Barber

Just Because You See Fire

So as the story was told to me I will tell it to you. This one is about patience and boy there are days I need it. Almost more than the breath in my lungs. So here we go.

In the early 1900’s there was a young minister who had just graduated from seminary. He was a young man still and on fire to change the world for Christ. Even if that meant going to the ends off the earth. This young man decides he will start iff his journey in life with Christ in his heart and do missionary work in the South Seas He would bring the Gospel to tribes of people who have never encountered people outside of their villages, tribes, or from anywhere else.

This young man spends the next 4 years of his life sharing the word of the gospel, learning different tribes customs to fit in, trying to learn unstudied and undocumented languages, in some of the most remote places on the planet. After 4 years, he goes to bed one night and says, Lord. I am giving up. I have spent 4 years here and there is no fruit to be had. Not one person saved. So he decides to pack it up and take the next ship back to civilization.

On the first night of the voyage home and tremendous storm wipes the entire ship out, killing everyone on board except this young minister. The next day he wakes up and sees that he has been washed up on some small rocky island with almost no water anywhere or even rations for food. He spends the next few days gathering what he could from the ship wreckage as it washed up. Small amount of rations, rope, wood, and a few other small supplies From this he fashions himself a small hut on the beach.

Everyday following that, he would climb to this rocky ledge overlooking his time hut to search the horizon and everyday, nothing to be seen. This one day as he is in his perch scanning the horizon, he sees smoke and he looks down. It was his tiny hut and all his rations and supplies on fire. By the time he was able to climb down it was too late. Nothing but ashes remain.

He puts his head in his hands and begins to sob and question why is all of this happening? Praying and questioning. Well, soon he falls asleep on the beach where he sat and sobbed and questioned as a broken man. The next morning he opens his eyes and in the bay is a ship and a life boat on its way towards him. He was astonished The Captain jumps on to the beach and says, “We saw your signal fire and wanted to investigate, wow I can’t believe we found you”

That night, after being taken back to the ship, he was having his first real hot meal and telling the 28 sailors on the ship about his adventure and how he was so thankful to be saved. Well, that very night 28 sailors knelt on their knees and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

I guess for me, the moral of the story is….it is not my story as much as it is Christ’s story in us. Let Him write a grand story in your life. Even one that is filled with tough times. A story told by Ben Courson during one of his sermons.


1. When is it time to give up?

2. Have you ever had God close a window, but later open a door? What is the lesson there?

3. How can you get better with being patient?



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© 2019 by Robert Lee Barber PA