Unstoppable! 'Heartbreaking Reality' — Acts 9:36-37

Friday, May 24, 2024

There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. About this time [while Peter was nearby,] she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room.

— Acts 9:36-37 NLT

Key Thought

Death is a hard reality that we must all face as mortal beings. When Jesus comes a second time, he will come to rescue us from a world in decay, living under the shadow of death. We, as people, families, friends, and churches, all contend with the grievous wounds left in the wake of death's destructive power. For widows and the poor to lose someone like Tabitha was more than an untimely death; it was the loss of a dear friend, encourager, helper, provider, and sister in Christ. Knowing that Tabitha had gone to be with the Lord didn't help their current loneliness, poverty, hunger, or loss. They needed Tabitha's presence, love, kindness, and attention. There was no doubt she was "gone" — her body was washed and placed in a room for final respects and then burial. We must feel the weight of their loss before we are ready to rejoice with what happens next!

Today's Prayer

O, dear Father, my heart feels the weight and loss of many who read this devotional. We have each lost people precious to us. We know the grief that people, especially poor people and widows, feel when that beloved person has been removed from their presence by death. We feel lost, lonely, isolated, and helpless in the face of death's mocking grip on our hearts. We thank you, dear Father, for the triumph of Jesus over sin, death, and hell for us. We believe that when we die, we and our loved ones go to be with Jesus. But, O God, please send your Spirit of comfort, grace, and peace to us in our time of loss; otherwise, grief might consume us. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 11:1-36
  • Philippians 1:18-26; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 9:36-37 NLT — There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. About this time [while Peter was nearby,] she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.