Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Tabitha of Joppa
Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and giving of alms which she did.
Acts 9:37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
Acts 9:38 And for as much as Lydda was near to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent to him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
Acts 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Acts 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
From the scriptures, we see that Tabitha (Dorcas) was a very giving woman. She rushed to the aid of those who needed her. She made clothes, gave encouragement- really poured her very soul into helping the widows. But, she did it enough to wear herself out into an early grave.
I don't know about you, but this brings a pretty strong conviction to myself. Most often I find myself praying for others and not praying for myself. I find myself giving of my time and energy to others and not devoting time and energy to help myself. Is this what God wants of us? For us to wear ourselves down and not take proper care of our own temples?
We each have a body given to us by God. Isn’t it our responsibility to take care of it? That’s what Paul tells us to do in Romans 12:1 when he writes - “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” >(Faith & Health Connection, 2007)
Just as the excerpt from the article says, God has given us our bodies to take care of them so we can use them in good working condition. Isn't it better to serve God in good health?
Tabitha wore herself out. There's no doubt of her kindness to others, but when did she take a break? It doesn't say when in the text, but I am imagine her going from one extreme to the next- kinda like what we do sometimes.
Have you ever just felt like you needed a good five minutes to breathe? If you're married with children you're going from one thing to the next all day. If you're working, have multiple children, serve in the ministry at church and are a faithful wife to your home then that right there can zap your energy away. That's not including helping other people too.
How many times you get a phone call from a friend in need? What about visiting someone who needs your friendship? How many ministries at church are you involved in? If it's more than what you can count on one hand, it's probably too much.
A week or two ago, my husband and I attended a luncheon for the children's ministry volunteers. We are both involved in the youth. I serve in the Nursery and help out where ever needed at times. But I also participate in other ministries as well. Well, after we ate, we were discussing other areas of the children's ministry that need help. I had a few ideas, so I shared them and was so excited that I was almost making more committments. Immediately, my husband jumps up and says, "Kennisha, don't do too much." Everyone laughed at the depth of his tone and the look on my face that read, "Excuse me?" There's that sassy me again. But, my pastor's wife confirmed that he was right. Although I was excited, too much would wear me out.
I don't want to be like Tabitha. I don't want to do so much that I wear myself out. I want to serve God in excellence in what I do for him and to do it in good health.
Thus, I pray,
Lord, sometimes we can be so eager to serve you that we want to jump into everything. At least, I know I do. But, I know for the sake of my physical body that I can't do it all. Lord, please take this burning desire to serve you and help me place the energy in the right pockets so I can minister the best of my abilty. Give us wisdom as we continue to walk in your will. We don't want to be like Tabitha- working ourselves to an early grave. But, we want to be smart and wise and take proper care of our bodies. Show us the way, in Jesus Name. Amen.
(Except from article taken from Faith and Healing Connection (dot) org.