We continue our study of women of purpose in the Bible this week, and it is one of my favorite examples of purpose in the Bible. It is the story of a woman who was not well connected, did not have money or power, and did not touch hundreds of lives. She simply had a heart for the poor and the ability to sew, and she combined those two things into one of the more remarkable purpose expressions in God's word. Her name was Tabitha or Dorcas, and here is her story:
If you are like me, for many years, I made Peter the focus when I read the above passage. For this Memo, let's make Dorcas the focus. If Dorcas was alive today, she would have a sewing machine, a source for material, and a heart to sew for the poor. She was a "nothing" woman - she had no prestige or position - in a "nowhere" village who was helping 'nobody' people. Dorcas had nothing going for her except that she was a woman of purpose, always doing good and helping the poor. Therefore in reality, she had everything going for her.
When she walked through her village, she saw the same people everyone else saw, but she viewed them through the eyes of purpose. She saw poor women who needed clothing. Your purpose sensitizes you to things around you that you think everyone should or can see, but they cannot. You see them because it's part of who God made you to be. If you are thinking, "Why doesn't someone do something about what I see?", you don't understand that they cannot do something because they cannot see what you see. You are the somebody who needs to do something.
Dorcas took it upon herself to help her neighbors and obviously became an important part of the community. Then one day, Dorcas passed away and her neighbors were sad. In her day of trouble, however, when she could not cry out on her own behalf, the evidence of a life yielded to God's purpose cried out for her. Peter, the most significant spiritual leader at the time, broke off what he was doing to come down and view her dead body. He was so moved both by how much everyone missed Dorcas and by the impact she had made while she was alive that he brought her back from the dead to continue her work.
Once that happened, a revival broke out in Dorcas' village and she never even preached a message. She just did good deeds for poor people. What an amazing story.
Do you see any needs around you that you can meet like Dorcas did? If you do, what are you waiting for? Go meet them! Are you hung up on what you don't have and what you can't do? Then start focusing on what you do have and can do. Have you convinced yourself that you can't make a difference in the world around you, or have you chosen not to make that difference? Either way, your thinking is wrong! The only reason you can't is that you have told yourself you can't and it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Please take the lessons from Dorcas' life to heart this week and follow her example. When you do, you have all of heaven's attention, no matter how trivial or insignificant what you are doing seems to be. It's time to stop examining what you don't have and consider what you do have, and that is a purpose that no one else can perform like you. It's time that you answer a difficult and challenging question: When you leave, will people miss you like they missed Dorcas? The only way you will be able to answer yes is to start fulfilling your purpose today, right now, where you are, with what you have. As you do, you will not only have a great week, but also a great life.