Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons from the Life and Death of Dorcas




The story of Dorcas is recorded in Acts 9: 36-42. Dorcas was a Jewish woman, living in the seaport city of Joppa, who had come to faith in Christ, most likely through the ministry of Peter or one of his associates. She was a talented seamstress who saw the opportunity to use her talent in blessing others.  She chose the needy, the orphans, and widows, all who were marginalized by their culture, to be the recipients of her handiwork. Her generosity with her time and talents earned her the love and devotion of the entire church community, but especially among the widows.

Yet, in spite of her loving generosity, she became very ill and died. She left a large group of people who were grief stricken, especially the widows whose lives she had personally touched with her generosity. And so, after preparing her body for burial and laying it out, they sent for the Apostle Peter who was ministering nearby to come immediately, as they most likely had heard how his prayers had resulted in the healing of a paralyzed man just days before.

Peter came and found a grief stricken group of widows who showed him many articles that Dorcas had lovingly stitched for them.  So, after sending them out of the room, with a heart full of faith in his resurrected Lord, Peter commanded Dorcas to get up - and she did. He then led her out where tears of grief quickly turned to tears of joy and shouts of praise.

Dotti Ackerman, founder of FNF, has recently undergone surgery and stated to me that the prayers of godly women ministered to her so much. While she is recovering nicely, her healing has not been instantaneous as was Dorcas's. But, she feels that God is teaching her lessons in the process. One of those lessons is patience. Dotti's stroke left her with a word retrieval difficulty and often others would just blurt out the word for her, leaving her frustrated. She is regaining that ability, but she has gained a new respect for others who suffer from the same disability. To listen carefully requires patience and Dotti relates that she is gaining patience through the process.

God's timing for healing is His and His alone. But, there is great comfort in our joining in prayer for each other in times of need.  And it's also important to solicit the prayers of men and women of God to join us in prayer. Regardless of our talents and gifts, we can all pray and that really is the greatest resource we have anyway.

By Shari Hervold