Tabitha’s Funeral

Designed & stitched by Beks (left) & Ana (right)

Today the Lord graciously gave me Acts 9:36-39, the life of Tabitha, that dear saint.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.  About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.  Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”  Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. ”

What I find so exciting here, I think, is that the Lord uses and honors this woman who is just like you and I.  She has no means to go writing big checks to poor orphanages.  She can not change governments, or save people groups, or invent great inventions, or preach to the nations.  Tabitha was truly a woman who bloomed where she was planted.  She simply applied herself for Jesus, caring for those around her, with a special compassion for those thankful believers that couldn’t do what she could do for them.

She made garments for widows.  She is now eternally honored, her life story etched in the tablets of Scripture.  She practiced Titus 3:8 daily by maintaining good works till her end, “…those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.”  How did she maintain this life of servitude unto the Lord, always doing good and helping the poor?

Tabitha saw a need, and met it with a thread and needle, and a heart for the Lord.  She could have invested herself in so many other things; the arts, education, socializing… all good things.  She found the thread and needle a far more worthy investment of her time.  “But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.” Isaiah 32:8

And how often do I see the list of sick believers on the back of the church bulletin (those with cancer, those in the hospital, those bedridden) and sit comfortably in my pew, unmoved?  When it crosses my mind, such as now, when the Lord places these passages in my heart, I think about how I have no time to make meals for other people.  I am homeschooling and I have four kids, and a house to keep, etc.!  How could I possibly fit in the needs of others?  And yet, the Lord calls.  The Lord reminds me that Tabitha had only 24 hours in her day, just like me.  It is likely that Tabitha trimmed many of her activities after the Lord called her to serve in this way.

Looking again at my kitchen, God shows me the potential, and it is so simple in concept.  I have three daughters that love baking and cooking, and we have a heart for the Lord.  I examine my schedule and see places that could be trimmed or even entirely thrown out, believing the Lord will ensure that my children are raised right even if I don’t focus all my energy on them alone.  In fact, the Lord reminds me they’ll turn out even more stable if I don’t fret about providing cutesy craft activities daily or excessive socialization or constant educational stimulation.  Tabitha would have concerned herself with teaching her children the names in the back of the church bulletin far more than the names of all the Presidents.

If Peter wasn’t around, and Tabitha lived in this day and age, I imagine our pastor conducting Tabitha’s funeral.  What would be said of her and who would be there?  “She was always doing good, and helping the poor.”  I bet it would be many people from the back of the church bulletin; the sick believers and widows whom she comforted with visitations and gifts.  I can picture this list of people from my bulletin, surrounding her grave, holding up her own works, be it coats or casseroles, praising the God she so fervently served.

And this sweet scene in my head inspires me to do likewise, laying what I have to give: my schedule, my kitchen, my daughters at the feet of Jesus.

P.S.  If you’re interested,  Matthew Henry’s commentary on these verses about Tabitha is incredibly inspiring.  He weaves together Scripture and speaks with such volume of soul, you simply must take a moment to indulge.

1 Comment

  • It’s always so sweet and also full of a lot of fun for me personally and my office colleagues to search your blog a minimum of thrice in a week to see the new guidance you have got.

So, what do you think?