It's wonderful to be part of God's body when one realises there's
so much God is doing. We should experience God daily. And it's marvellous when one looks
back at a day and realise how God had gone before and prepared everything.
It makes us think of the disciples who had gone fishing but caught
nothing. Only when the Lord appeared on the scene and told them to cast their net on the
other side could they catch a multitude of fish (John 21:6).
When we go through an experience we so readily boast of what we've
achieved. But when God works it's all about Him.
If you find it boring to serve the Lord you're in the wrong boat.
The early church went from one amazing experience and victory to the next. Peter was in
Lydda when a person who has been bedridden for eight years was raised. And the Lord had
more in store for Peter. When God works you must have an ear to hear.
After the bedridden man was raised, Peter was still in tune with
God to hear and obey when he was called to Joppa. After this miracle where he raised
Tabitha from the dead, he went to stay with Simon a tanner, just an ordinary person. In
the next chapter we read of how Peter was ready when God called him to his next task.
This woman we read of was full of good works and also gave of her
substance to people in need. She did as much as she could. What her hands found to do she
did with all her heart. She didn't think it enough to simply give of her money but she
also worked with her hands to provide for the disciples. She was faithful. But that wasn't
all she did. Firstly, she "was a disciple". Faith and works must go together.
One without the other doesn't work. William Booth said that faith and works is like a
person walking, the first step being faith but then the other leg of good works is also
needed. When Jesus instructed His disciples He told them to go and instruct others
teaching them to keep what He had told them. Tabitha was a true disciple who learned from
the Lord and then taught that to others.
But then she became sick and died, not because there was something
wrong with her. Christians too easily blame fellow believers when they face trials,
sicknesses and death. We tend to suspect that there must be something wrong with a
believer when something "bad" happens to them.
Tabitha had also looked after the weakest people - widows. And
then those whom she always looked after were there to look after her when she fell ill and
died. They washed her body and laid her on a bed and sent for Peter. We read here of all
disciples working together, from the one who called Peter, Tabithas faithfulness
when she was alive, and Peter who was in tune with God to know where God wants him. In
1Cor 12 we read of the body of Christ, although there are different functions, yet we are
These were widows. Who is the widow in your community? That person
who has lost support. It could even be people whose family has abandoned them because of
their faith. Tabitha cared for these people. The family of widows should first care for
them, but some don't even have family. They are true widows. She did what we read of in
James to care for the widows and fatherless and to keep yourself unspotted by the world
(James 1:27). We should, by God's grace, keep ourselves unspotted from the world and be
there for those in need.
Peter didn't make the mistake he made before by acting
impulsively, but allowed the Lord to lead him in all things.
Peter was also approachable. Although he was great he didn't think
so of himself. He probably always remembered how he had failed and yet God accepted Him.
He was open and friendly and kind to them to those asking him to come and help.
When they had called Peter they took him to the room where
Tabitha's body was, and he put them all out. They could have been offended, but he
realised that he wasn't there to impress them but to serve His Master. Then he knelt down.
He knew it was a hopeless situation, and that he couldn't do anything out of himself. He
bowed and humbled himself, and only God would get the glory at the end. Then he prayed and
that prayer moved the hand of God.
It's so different when we find ourselves in a situation where we
just see the hopelessness of the situation, and then maybe pray because it's the
"Christian" thing to do. But Peter looked to God Himself throughout the
situation. May God grant us this heart that Peter had, so that as we face difficult
situations we might turn our eyes to God.
We see how God worked in this situation, and everyone working
together using the gifts God gave to them. Then it is beautiful and Jesus is glorified.
All of this happened through the faithfulness of one lady who
sowed dresses and looked after the needs of others. Yes others were part of the story, but
Tabitha was the catalyst.