In my family, it’s a pretty serious offense to not know how to water ski.
I’m the biggest offender, but I should absolutely win an award for effort. To this day, I can still tilt my head and hear the faintest drip of water, leftover from the summer of 2005.
One blazing day in July, my dad piled our family into a pontoon boat, filling it with fatherly ambition, while my brother and I buckled on our neon life jackets with determination. Our hopes lifted the buoys from the dock, and we set out for that fateful day —the day we would most certainly remember as that time we learned to water ski.
As we approached calm waters, my dad (the seasoned skier) recalled every step: jump in the water, put on your skis, catch the rope, keep your toes up, let the boat pull you, bend your knees, and slowly stand.
My brother went first. He jumped in the water, attached his skis, caught the rope, pointed his toes forward, allowed the boat to pull him, bent his knees, slowly stood… then fell. It was then we realized he’d missed a crucial piece of information: when you fall, LET GO OF THE ROPE! Leading with his determination, my brother hung on, his body slapping against the waves and his lips receiving water by the mouthful.
When it was my turn, I decided to take notes from my brother’s wipeout, vowing to use my own strength instead of that rascally rope. And although I was technically doing everything right, I was quick to ditch the one thing that could truly help me stand.
Tabitha was also a girl who liked to do things the right way, but her fruit was more eternal than water skiing. The first time we hear her name, we learn “she was always doing good works and acts of charity” (Acts 9:36). How’s that for a first impression? As far as good reputations go, Tabitha seems to have one of the best. But in her death, the story quickly shifts from matters of her hands to matters of her heart.
When Tabitha dies, her loved ones call upon Peter, their last chance of hope. He prays over her death bed, then says, “Tabitha, get up.” And she does. She opens her eyes and sits up! She is alive, and it’s a miracle!
Okay, hold up. Can I confess something here? Talking about miracles makes me antsy. But let’s not hear this passage and think, “Well, sure, she must have been worthy of God’s attention.” This is no miracle for miracle’s sake; it’s the living Gospel on display, the resurrection story of every believer for all to see.
Tabitha tightly held onto the Truth, and it pulled her into life!
I wish I could tell you that my tendency to toss necessary things to the side ends with the water skiing rope, but I’m guilty of cheapening and rejecting the Gospel every single day. I need to be reminded daily that it’s the only thing that can pull me out of darkness, out of sin, and out of the grave.
Sister, as we read and receive this Truth, may I repeat Peter’s words to you today?
Get up, because the Good News is alive in you, pumping through your veins, awakening each breath, and calling you to sit up in the sovereign Hands of Truth.
May we allow ourselves to be pulled by the Gospel today, the only thing on which we can stand.