Wednesday, April 6, 2011
What was Tabitha thinking?
In this week's Bible Lesson we read about a wonderful person named Tabitha. She appears to have been an accomplished needle woman who created many coats and garments for others. She got sick and died. Her friends were devestated by this loss. They heard that Peter was in a nearby town and immediately sent for him to consol their grief. It is interesting that they did not send for him when Tabitha was so ill but waited until she was gone. Peter comes right away, he must have because the custom was to bury someone within 24 hours after death. Peter has been in a situation like this one before. He was an eyewitness to Jesus raising a young girl from death. Like that situation, Peter arrives to be surrounded by mourners. Remembering how Jesus dealt with that, he puts them all out. He needed to remove the strong claim of death and sadness. He needed some quiet to pray. And pray he does, kneeling down. This account is in the Book of Acts so it is possible that Peter told this story to Luke who recorded it. Once Peter understands that God is Life and there is never an end to Life, that Tabitha is at one with divine Life, that nothing in the form of illness could be more powerful than that divine Life, he turns to her and tells her to arise. She opens her eyes. That reminded me of when one of the prophets prayed for his servants eyes to be opened when they appeared to be surrounded by an enemy intent on killing them. She opens her eyes and sits up. The hold of illness has been broken and nullified. Now Peter gives her his hand and lifts her up. He has done this in past with the man who was lame from birth. He took him by the hand and lifted him up and instantly his feet and ankle bones recieved strength and he not only stood, but walked and leaped. Calling those who had been mourning Tabitha's death, he presents her alive and well. You can believe that news spread like wildfire and it lead many to believe in the power of God. I think Peter lifted Tabitha up in more ways than one. He lifted her right out of her own thought that she had become ill, that the illness could be fatal, and that she had passed away. He helped her awake from that dream into the reality of eternal Life. What a gift! We are not subject to decay or illness or deterioration. We are not under the jurisdiction of material or medical law. We are only subject to the divine law and power of God, who is Life. Be lifted up by this thought today.