Do you wonder if you are making a difference for God?
It can be difficult to believe how our ordinary everyday lives can possibly be making a difference for God and His Kingdom. Our lives can feel mundane and small, and sometimes we can fall into the trap of believing the lie that we have nothing of worth to offer either to God or to others, as we go about our daily activities.
“Jesus: If you want to do God’s work, then believe in the One He sent.” John 6:29 VOICE
On our worst days we can let our focus drop away from the truth and hear instead the accusatory whisper from our enemy, tempting us to compare our lives with those who appear to be doing greater things for God.
If that is you today, I would like to introduce you to Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, who we meet in Acts chapter 9. She lived in what is now known as, Jaffa, a coastal suburb of Tel Aviv. Her account only covers 7 verses, but, those 7 short verses teach us something so very powerful, and I hope it encourages you today.
Our focus on the chapter could understandably be all be about Saul’s amazing conversion and Peter’s powerful speaking and healing ministry, but Tabitha had an important part to play too. I believe Tabitha’s story is included in this chapter for a specific reason, not only to show God’s power and gift of grace, but also to draw our attention to His unfailing love. He knows the details of our lives, and sees what we do for Him behind the doors of our homes and in our communities.
From Acts 9:36, we begin to learn a little about Tabitha. She is described as “…rich in acts of kindness and charity which she continually did.” Acts 9:36 AMP. Tabitha loved her neighbour, and took care of the widow, as God asks us to do (Mark 12:31, James 1:27). She obviously meant a great deal to her community, where she took the time to be a friend to the lonely and hurting, loving them, and helping them by providing what they needed using her sewing skills.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Tabitha sadly becomes ill and dies. A message is sent to Peter to come quickly, as her community hold onto the hope that he will be able to help bring her back to life, because they just can’t let her go. When Peter arrives, they show him what she did for them as they weep with grief at their great loss, as described in Acts 9:39.
God moved in power through Peter, as he prayed for a fellow sister in Christ to rise from the dead. When Peter presents Tabitha as alive, many came to know and hear about Jesus, not only through the miracle of her coming back to life, but also through her acts of kindness, compassion and generous heart.
Tabitha’s task was to love the people God put in front of her, and she did it well. Those who felt invisible in her community were noticed by her. She made a difference to their lives.
I feel quite emotional as I sit here typing this post, as I give thanks for Tabitha’s story. If our ultimate goal is to love and make Jesus’ Name be made known wherever we are, none of it is wasted. All of it is valued and very much needed.
The world needs more Tabithas. She even makes me want to start a project called Tabitha’s helpers or something… she is definitely inspiring don’t you think? 🙂
Friend, He sees you taking care of your family, often undertaking thankless tasks for others, listening and supporting your friends, praying for those in need, and being the light you are….
You are needed, and I am thankful for you.
Throughout July we are praying for the United Kingdom after the EU Referendum. If you would like to take part, please see 31 days of prayer: Pray for the UK
Image: From Unsplash, modified by A Hunt
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