Let’s Talk about “Essential”

What? I’m actually posting? Yes! Here I am!

I feel as if I ought to apologize. I have been absent from the “blog-waves” (is that a thing?) for weeks now and I said I’d be here weekly. I feel both bad about that and defensive about that. Bad because I said I’d do it. Defensive because, by golly, life is hard right now and some things have had to be set aside in the interests of mental health and that just has to be okay.

Honesty is good, yes?

I wrote a whole paragraph about the stress of living during a pandemic and then I erased it. You all know about that stress. I’ll just leave it at that and say that I hope you don’t mind that I won’t appear here every week because I just can’t handle it every week. 

‘Nuff said.

So…on to more theology and less dishevelment, how about?

I recently looked a little bit at the story of Dorcas in the Bible. Remember her? In Acts chapter nine we read that Dorcas, aka Tabitha, had died and a lot of people were very upset about it. Apparently she had been a great servant for the Lord, especially known for making “robes and other clothing”. 

Shortly after she passed away, Dorcas’ friends asked Peter to stop by to see if he could help. I guess they held out hope that they’d witness a miracle and turns out they weren’t disappointed. Peter “got down on his knees and prayed” for Dorcas and then said, “Tabitha, get up.”

And she got up. She was dead, washed and ready for burial, and she sat up.

People die all the time. We mourn them and we grieve for them and we wish that God would work a miracle to bring them back to life but for all of the millions of times that has been wished, it has only occurred a small handful of times that we know of from the Bible. 

Dorcas, for some reason, was deemed indispensable. Perhaps her sewing skills or something else we don’t know about made God put her on the short list of “the dead raised to life”. Her absence created a hole that no one else could fill. 

God decided she was an essential worker.

Kinda rings a bell, doesn’t it? 

We have heard plenty about “Essential Workers” during this pandemic. But what about poor Dorcas? Here she was, dead and in the presence of God, and she’s brought back to life for reasons we don’t know, put on hold from her heavenly reward, only to come back and sew a few more “robes and other clothing”. 

I kinda think that she’d much rather have been deemed “unessential” at that point and been allowed to remain in the presence of God. Yet God had His reasons. We don’t know them. But we can trust that they were made with far better wisdom than our reasoning can understand. 

That’s the thing about God. We don’t always understand His ways. Let’s face it, we often don’t understand His ways! But we always can trust that His ways are best. 

“As for God, His way is perfect;” says 2 Samuel 22:31 (NKJV) “The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Or, in a different version (NIV) and a different reference (Psalm 18:30) it says, “As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.”

So if we believe that God is who He says He is, and if we believe His word, then we believe that His plans are perfect, tested, true and flawless, and that He protects us when we run to Him. 

And that means that we can trust Him. We may not always like where He leads us, but we know that anywhere He takes us, He is right there with us, protecting and shielding those who trust in Him.

And that, my friends, is essential.

10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about “Essential”

  1. LOVE this. Especially in these times. And you DON”T need to apologize for not writing! Believe me, we all understand the chaos and stress. You needed time to focus on more important matters and that is OK. It just made it an extra special blessing to hear from you THIS day.

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  2. Thanks, Gretchen. This really rang a bell with me. “As for God, His way is perfect” lets me trust in my sovereign God in any and all troubles I encounter in life.

    Used as a verb, the word “perfect” also means to complete and bring to maturity. Sometimes the troubles that I encounter will lead me to maturity in Christ and dependence on Him.

    Praying for you and your family and sending love, Aunt Betsy

    >

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  3. Every time I read your writing, I am moved by the truths you present. You are right that we don’t always understand God or His ways. But He remains with us through whatever life brings. Your story of Dorcas reminds me of my dear mama and when we were called to her hospital bedside a few years back. She was not expected to survive the night. But the next morning, her health had improved and she said to us, “I guess God isn’t ready for this stubborn old lady yet.” He still had a reason for her to live and she’s still with us at age 88.

    As for your writing, take whatever break you need to focus on your family. I know you’ll be back when you are ready, writing truth, witnessing for Christ.

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