Monday, November 8, 2010

As good as a miracle

Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 78

Read: Acts 6:8-16:37

Verse that stood out:
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. . . when [Peter] 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 - Acts 9:36, 39

The story of Tabitha is remarkable primarily because she is brought back to life from the dead. The Bible tells us that many believed in the Lord after learning of this great miracle. Apparently, hearing about the gospel from a person who used to be dead but now is alive is a powerful experience.

A close reading of the story, however, reminds us that our lives can have that kind of effect on folks even without the miracles. After all, Tabitha's spectacular come-back-to-life story was preceded by the most ordinary of actions: a woman using her God given talents with a needle and thread to bless those around her. These clothes, these tangible expressions of love, were making a mark in her community long before the extraordinary story of her resuscitation. So much so, that when Tabitha died, the whole community was deeply moved because she had lived so well, "always doing good and helping the poor." They brought the clothes Tabitha had made for them and laid them at the apostles' feet, a memorial to Tabitha's love.

This story reminds me of two things. First, God does sometimes does move in miraculous ways. That's his prerogative. Second, God more often moves in the most ordinary of ways - through the faithful deeds of his people. That's our responsibility. Tabitha made clothes for Jesus. What are you doing for him?

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