Hannah my daughter likes Littlest Pet Shop toys. She collects them and also borrows from her friends. Since we don’t buy her often but only on special occasions like Christmas and her birthday, she makes improvised accessories, furniture and house for them.
One time, she was playing with them in their Hannah-made house, I told her that if she were an LPS toy, she would be a kitten and I would name her “Chinky the Kitty”. Oh, she loved that! She smiled until her chinky eyes became a pair of crescents. Then she asked me, “Mom, if you were an LPS animal, what would you be?” To which I answered without hesitation, “I would be a gazelle.”
Oh, how I desire to be like a gazelle again, to relive those childhood years when I ran untiringly, when my heart was strong and I could leap and bound. Yes, just like a gazelle.
But more than my desire to be like this animal is an endearing story that I have embraced ever since I became a born-again Christian – the story of Tabitha (Acts 9:36-43).
Tabitha was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and she lived in Joppa during the time of the early apostles. She was also called Dorcas, a Greek name which means “a gazelle”. Tabitha was her Hebrew name.
This disciple was full of good works and charitable deeds. She was known by her kindness and generosity, and she was loved by them whom she had helped. But one day, Tabitha became sick and she died. The women who took care of her washed her and laid her in an upper room, then sent men to call for Peter to come without delay, for he was then at Lydda, a place near Joppa.
Peter arose and went with the disciples that were sent from Joppa. When they arrived, they brought him to the upper room where Tabitha laid. The widows showed him the garments she had made for them and they wept. Oh, how they must have loved this kind and generous woman!
After Peter put them all out, he kneeled and prayed, and with power and authority, he commanded Tabitha to arise. Tabitha opened her eyes and when she saw Peter, she sat up. Peter helped her to her feet.
Tabitha was restored to life. Halleluiah!
She lived a life that showed God’s mercy, and in the hour of great need – her death – she was shown God’s great mercy, and she was raised up.
With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful… (Psalm 18:25)
God’s Word is true!
During the difficult times that I struggled between life and death because of my illness, I held the story of Tabitha close to my heart, as my soul hoped for the Lord to raise me up as He had done to Tabitha. I believed with all my heart that His testimonies are true, His Word shall never pass away, and His mercy endures forever.
I believed that, if His healing miracles happened during the time of the early apostles, they would also happen now, for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). And so, full of faith and hope, I called for the Lord’s disciples from our Church, His beloved workers, to come and pray for my healing.
And I obtained God’s great mercy and He raised me up to be able to do those things that He has purposed me to do. Even in my fragile health and strength, His grace is sufficient for me.
Tabitha was called a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and her good works followed her, even to her death. The love of Jesus was seen in her life, proving that she didn’t only believe, she also lived her faith. Faith that expresses itself through love (Gal. 5:6). For faith without works is dead (James 2:20).
So, this is my heart’s desire: to be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, showing my faith by the way I live and keep His commandments. I pray, therefore, that as Tabitha clothed others with the garments she made, I would also give comfort to the needy, not just a blanket or articles of clothing to keep them warm, or food to assuage their hunger, or hope for a bright future in helping to send some poor children to school, but also to cover the despondent soul with words that heal, encourage, and bring hope – all in the name of Jesus. All by His Spirit that works through me.
I just learned to sing this song In Christ Alone (by Brian Littrell), and as I practiced it via YouTube, my little Tim sang with me (though you woudn’t understand any of his lyrics :-)) as he leaned on my bosom. It was the sweetest!
In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone.
I pray you’ll learn it, too, and sing it to the King of kings and Lord of lords with all that’s in you.
Related article: Minister of Mercy Turns One
This post is linked to Domestically Divine, Women Living Well, Raising Homemakers, Women in the Word Wednesday, Walk with Him Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Brag on God Friday, Spiritual Sundays, The Beauty in His Grip