We are introduced to a woman named Tabitha in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts. She is identified as a disciple. In the same verse that she is introduced it says that she was a woman full of good works and charitable deeds, which she did.
Notice the very first things that we learn about her… it isn’t what she looked like, we don’t know how old she was, how much money she had, not even how long she had been a Christian, but we do know that number one, she is a disciple of Christ, and number two, she has works that follow her faith.
She wasn’t satisfied with just being saved, but rather because she was saved she wanted to reach out to others with the same grace and love that she had experienced from her Savior.
There are many people who give to charity and do good things, but the only deeds that make an eternal difference are those that flow from hearts that genuinely belong to the Lord. Tabitha understood the strong thread of grace that had been sewn into her own life from the Lord, and therefore, with her ‘needle of love’ she decided to sew garments for others. All the while, she was sewing much more than just clothes.
The scripture goes on to tell us that she became sick and died. We know that Tabitha was deeply cared for because when the people that knew her heard about Peter, one of the 12 disciples, being in the next town they sent for him to come to where she laid.
When he came, the widows stood by him weeping and showing him the garments that she had made for them.
I can picture it now… Peter standing before them, seeing their broken hearts as they tell him about Tabitha.
I’m sure they were sharing wonderful memories with him, as most of us do when we lose someone who meant a great deal to us. Memories about her kindness and friendship as she would stitch their garments with joy. Tabitha was much more than just a seamstress of clothes….she had stitched faith, hope, and love into the lives of those who knew her.
I’m sure they were explaining to him how great she was and how not having her with them was going to leave a gapping hole in their community and in their hearts and lives.
As I thought about the life of this wonderful woman, I stopped to think…would my death leave such an empty space in the lives of people who know me, would yours?
Tabitha’s life had made such an impact on so many other lives because of the impact that Christ had made on hers!
There is no doubt that sewing was more than just a hobby to her…it was a way to serve the lowly and worship the One whom her soul loved.
Peter sends the people out of the room where Tabitha is laying lifeless. He prays and speaks to her… “Tabitha arise.” She opens her eyes and sits up. Peter presents her to the people who loved her so much and she is alive. What a miracle!
I can only imagine the joy when they saw her!!
The news spreads throughout the town and many believe in the Lord and receive salvation because of this life-giving miracle that had taken place in the life of Tabitha!
Who would have ever known…
Not only did God use her life, but He also used her death for His purpose and glory!
He used her kindness and compassion to befriend those around her, He used her hands to sew for them and He used her heart to love them.
He used her death to unite the people who mourned for her to seek help from Peter, the man that knew HIM!
He used her miracle to draw others to Him as they witnessed His power and majesty in her life.
Tabitha may have thought that what she had to offer wasn’t much. She was just a woman in a small town, threading needles and sewing garments for the poor, but God saw much more, and He used her in ways that she could have never imagined!
So, let me tell you about Tabitha….
There are only a few verses in chapter 9 that give us a glimpse of this precious soul named Tabitha, but as the chapters of her life played out, she lived a story, and o what a story it was!