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Tabitha: The Upper Room

Tabitha. Her story is an amazing one and I want to share something the Lord revealed to me while reading her story in Acts 9. Get your bible, we’ll read it together in a minute.

This story…there is so much in this short story and I want to share it all, but I feel the Lord saying, “Share this one thing.” I want to focus on one part of her life…the part of her life that led up to a radical miracle. The part of her life when she wasn’t alive at all. The part of her story when all hope was lost and it was all over. There was no coming back from what happened…

“Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them.” Acts 9:36-39 (ESV)

She was dead. Tabitha’s widow friends and other people she served and loved washed her completely and readied her for burial, but didn’t bury her. I don’t know if they couldn’t bring themselves to do it, if they were waiting for some reason, or what, but they didn’t bury her yet. They put her in the upper room. I learned this recently about the upper room in homes during this era. The upper room was the place for intimate conversation. When you needed to talk about something really important or private or personal, you did that upstairs on the top floor. It was also the place for women of the house. It’s interesting to me that the place for intimate conversation is also the same place sort-of reserved for the women of the house to spend time. It was the place for private dinners, the place for communion. Tabitha laid dead, her body cleansed and prepared, in the place of communion. 

The Upper Room. 

“But Peter put them all outside, 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. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” Acts 9:40-41 (ESV)

Her friends and other disciples sent for Peter to come. The all wept and mourned and showed the handiwork of her love to him as he entered the house, but Peter sent them out. He postured himself into submission and prayed to God. What did that prayer sound like, I wonder? Did he ask God to raise her? Did he say, “God what do you want me to do?” Did he just praise God? That’s a question I’ll ask on the other side of Heaven someday. Whatever the prayer ended up being, Peter finished, then turned around and commanded her to come alive. 

In this place of communion, the Spirit of God breathed life into a woman. In this place of communion, a woman submitted to God, cleansed before the Lord, was given new life. In this place of communion, hope was restored after all hope had been lost. In this place of communion, God made a way where there was no way. In this place of communion, a radical miracle was birthed.

Sister, I prayed about this, thought long and hard about this, then wrote and wrote only to erase most of what I had gleaned from this story in scripture. I feel the Lord is telling me to focus on this one part of her story…someone needs to hear this.

Tabitha was cleansed and prepared, laid to rest in the place of communion and then, through prayer, what happened? God did a radical miracle.

I feel the Lord is telling me, when you’ve done all you can do, come up to the quiet place of communion with Him. Cleanse your heart and prepare yourself for God to do what only He can do. Go to the Lord in prayer and then watch Him do a miracle. 

Someone needs to do that today. 

If you feel a tug in your heart, I’m writing this for you and the Lord is speaking. 

It’s time to obey. It’s time to stop. You’ve done all you can do right now. 

Go to the Upper Room. Cleanse your heart before the Lord. Prepare yourself for a miracle. Go to communion with the Lord in prayer. And then just watch and wait, sweet friend. 

Sister, if we are women, submitted to God, cleansed before the Lord, communing with Him in the Upper Room of our spirits, God will birth radical miracles. 

One of you needs a radical miracle today. It’s time to go to the Upper Room.

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