Serve Others and Provide Reasons to be Missed

January 18, 2009

Linkin Park expresses a desire most of us have in their song, “Leave Out All the Rest.”

I dreamed I was missing;
You were so scared.
But no one would listen,
‘Cause no on else cared.
After my dreaming,
I woke with this fear;
What am I leaving
When I’m done here?
So if you’re asking me I want you to know
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done,
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed.
Don’t resent me
When you’re feeling empty.
Keep me in your memory.
Leave out all the rest.

“Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed.” What a powerful desire. Do you feel that desire? Do you hope when you’re gone folks will remember you with longing? Do you hope they’ll miss you? I don’t even really have to ask that question. I’m sure you do.

When I hear this, I can’t help but think of Tabitha in Acts 9:36-42. In Acts 7:60, Stephen, an evangelist and deacon, was stoned to death. The disciples mourned and buried him. In Acts 12:2, the apostle James is killed with the sword. I presume the disciples mourned and buried him as well. On the other hand, in Joppa, Tabitha died and the disciples mourn and send for Peter saying, “Something has to be done about this. Bring her back.”

Apostles die. Nothing. Evangelists die. Nothing. Deacons died. Nothing. Tabitha dies. We need to change the laws of nature. Tabitha was missed. But why? Had she proclaimed the gospel with such eloquence they couldn’t live without her teaching? Was she a leader among women that they felt lost without her? Did she vacate an office in the congregation for which they had no successor? No. None of these. She was a simple servant. The widows gathered around Peter to show the tunics and other garments she had made for them.

What is most amazing is the people didn’t just ask for her resurrection, God granted it. God saw the need for Tabitha as well.

Do you want reasons to be missed when you’re gone? Don’t strive to be a leader of men. Don’t strive to be an excellent orator. Don’t strive to be the pre-eminent spiritual mind in the congregation. Strive to serve. As Tabitha did, do what you can when you can for whomever you can. Don’t wait for the elders to start a program. Just serve.

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