by Tim Hall
God can restore life in places we don’t expect.
The message sent to the apostle Peter was urgent: Come quickly! Tabitha, a Christian in the city of Joppa, had died and her body had been washed and prepared for burial. Bystanders may have wondered why two men were sent to Peter, “imploring him not to delay in coming to them” (Acts 9:38, NKJV). Wasn’t she already dead?
There really was no need to hurry, but their request shows the faith these Christians had in the power of God. After arriving in Joppa, Peter was shown to the room where the lifeless body lay. “But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up” (Acts 9:40).
A few other instances of God’s power to restore life can be found in the Bible. Ezekiel stood before a valley that was strewn with sun-bleached bones. “Son of man, can these bones live?” he was asked. In the moments that followed, the bones were reassembled, sinews and flesh covered them and soon an entire army was ready to fight again (Ezekiel 37:1-10).
Elijah raised a young child to life, as did Elisha. Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus, the widow’s only son and Lazarus. In all of these instances the impossible happened. Bodies that had completely expired were again filled with vitality. God’s power can do such things.
Another kind of restoration is found in Acts 9. When Peter entered the house where Dorcas’ (another name for Tabitha) body lay, “all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them” (Acts 9:39). Hers was a life that served the needs of others. She knew the difficulty widows faced and she did what she could to help them. She made a difference in the lives of many.
Where did Tabitha learn this type of life? At the beginning of the account she is identified as “a certain disciple” (Acts 9:36). She obviously learned from Jesus’ example and teachings that the abundant life is focused on more than just selfish desires. Jesus restored her life long before she died.
Jesus can not only restore life to those who have died, but also to those who are yet living. That’s the lesson in this promise he made: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Have you allowed Jesus to restore life to you?
by Tim Hall