Acts 9 tells the inspiring story of a woman named Tabitha (some knew her as Dorcas). Her character was that she “was always doing good and helping the poor” (v.36). What a reputation! What comes to the mind of others when they think of you? Always doing good? Always helping others?
Sadly, Tabitha became sick and died. As funeral arrangements were being made for her it was learned that the Apostle Peter was nearby. Two men were sent to bring back Peter; perhaps he could do something to reverse this awful loss.
When Peter arrived he found the room filled with people, specifically some widows who had been the recipients of Dorcas’ incredible service. “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” (v.39). Peter was surrounded by the tangible evidence of this woman’s life of service.
How hard would it be for others to produce evidence of your life’s service? Certainly we don’t do good deeds to be recognized or applauded by others. But our love for God and others will most certainly be evidenced in practical, visible expressions of ministry.
As I write I think about a precious sister in the Lord named Minnie Neth. Minnie served in our church’s preschool ministry. For twelve years Minnie rocked babies, changed diapers, sterilized toys and a host of other things little ones need.
About a month ago Minnie became seriously ill and died. As funeral preparations were being made her daughter called the church office to ask an amazing question: Could Minnie be buried in one of the smocks worn by our childcare workers? Of course, our preschool leadership was most happy to provide the smock. So when loved ones and friends came to pay their respects to Minnie and her family there in the casket was Minnie’s body clothed in her uniform of service.
How will others remember you when you’re gone? Will your service to God and to others be foremost in everyone’s thinking as they recollect your life?
Back to the story from Acts 9. Apostle Peter knelt beside the bed of Dorcas and prayed for her. Miraculously God raised her from the dead, and Peter helped her to her feet. Understandably this created quite a stir in the city, and many people put their trust in the Lord.
We know nothing more about Dorcas’ life. But I’m pretty sure she resumed her life of doing good and serving others who were less fortunate until God finally called her home.
You and I still have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Perhaps as you ponder your life and how you will be remembered you would have to honestly say that there’s not much evidence of a life of service. It’s not too late to start building a legacy for the glory of God and the good of others.