~ Heather Whidden
The account of Tabitha/Dorcas is an incredible one for sure. I could write pages on the facts that we have…but I’m stuck on the part of the story that fascinates me most, that which no facts are given. That’s the day after her life is restored back to her, the day after death.
When I think of God, I can’t help but think about the fact that He knew everything that would ever happen BEFORE He created the universe. He knows everything about us including the number of hairs on our head. He knew every day of Dorcas’ life up until the day she would die…the first time. And He knew every day she would have after that. If you’re anything like me, an over analytical thinker, knowing all that, you can’t help but wonder what happened next.
There’s a whole other story here; one that we’ll never know to the full extent on this side of heaven, which is therefore left for the reader’s imagination. It’s the continuing story of our featured heroine. It’s one that isn’t told but I have to believe it plays a much bigger part in history than we can begin to comprehend. Because there’s always more to what God does than what we see on the surface. He’s a God of details and every thing and every event is entwined somehow. Just because we aren’t given the further adventures of Dorcas the disciple, doesn’t mean there weren’t any.
The word tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So based on that, she was with Jesus, experiencing His fullness and glory, in heaven before He restored her spirit back to her body. Think they had a conversation??? Maybe Jesus telling her what was about to happen and why? Reckon she was reluctant to leave His presence or excited to return for the work He had left for her?
So what do you do the day after you died??? After you’ve experienced eternal peace and joy and find yourself waking back up in your mortal body? What do you think was going through her mind? I have to believe Dorcas understood what her mission would be upon her return to this life, her assignment, yet again to testify to greatness of the Lord and serve others, but on a whole new level. Can you imagine the testimony she had to share??? If she was already doing the Lord’s work before, it seems to me it would only be multiplied countless times over after coming back from the dead. He had even greater things for her to do.
This isn’t just an account of Peter performing a miracle or that of the faith the other believers had for their friend. God was so very careful to specify this woman’s deeds, her selfless acts of service and that she was a disciple. There’s something to that. I believe of the reasons God chose to raise this woman back to life, the main one being the impact she had not only on her community but the kingdom. Her story wasn’t finished, and neither was her work; her God appointed destiny. The same kind of God appointed destiny that we all have if we choose to seek and serve Him with all of our heart.
This story confirms that no matter what, God IS the author of our lives if we allow Him to be; and not even death can prevent us from fulfilling the purpose He’s created us for.