Acts 9:36-41– At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated “Gazelle.” This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Tabitha had made while she was with them. 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. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
Tabitha was “full of good works and almsdeeds,” meaning she was a giver. Jesus said “Give and it shall be given to you.” I guess we could all agree that her being raised from the dead constituted a good harvest from the seeds Tabitha had sown.
But what intrigues me most about this account has to do with the nature of the deeds this humble woman performed. She was a seamstress who gave away clothes. That’s it, nothing more.
Giving presents may not seem like much of a ministry in today’s internationally conscious, media-oriented Christian society. We like to focus on the spectacular: famous evangelists who convert multitudes, business people who give hundreds of thousands into the Gospel, Christian singers who produce multi-platinum albums. A nice lady giving away a few garments doesn’t seem headline-worthy these days.
But God sees things differently. He immortalized Tabitha’s good works in Scripture as an example of what serving Him is all about. And when you think of it, the giving of these small presents were the very acts responsible for inspiring her friends to intercede for Tabitha’s restoration. Yes, Tabitha was raised from the dead because people cared about her. And they cared about her because she cared about them.
The little things we do for others matter. They matter to God and they matter to the people we help. A kind word, a small gift, a favor done to get someone through the day…such insignificant acts make headlines in the Kingdom of Heaven.
And they make headlines here too, not in the newspapers, but in human hearts. So let’s do something for someone else today. After all, you never know the kind of harvest your little seed might one day produce.