Each and every one of us is unique and each of us has a role to play in the big picture of God’s plan in life. You are who you are and you have no idea how significant your life is to others.
When Christ was born, there was an old man named Simeon in Jerusalem waiting for the Consolation of Christ. Simeon was there before Jesus was brought on the eighth day. Chances are, Simeon was there for years being just and devout. Simeon had a great authority even before Jesus was born. God created Simeon because He had to have a Simeon in the house of the Lord on the eighth day of Christ’s life. God knew Simeon before he was formed in his mother’s womb and He knew there would be a day when Simeon would speak the word blessing over the Christ Child.
Luke 2:25-32 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
There is a widow woman in the Bible named Anna. Anna was a prophetess and she was a widow of about eighty-four years. She spent her time fasting and praying at the temple.
Luke 2:36-38 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
I am sure there was a little familiarity with others in the temple in regard to Anna prophesying. She had no doubt prophesied many things. One day she likely prophesied the approaching day of the Messiah. Perhaps people around her said, “Oh! Its just Anna prophesying again!” They may not have taken her too serious. After all, she didn’t have too much of a life. She spent her time praying and fasting at the temple. She was destined to prophesy one time on one particular day, though for seventy years she had fasted and prayed and who knows how many good prophecies she had declared. For about seventy years Anna went to church. If you asked her, “What do you do Anna?” She might say, “I pray.”
“What do you do Anna?” – “I go to church.”
“How many churches you been to?” – “ Just one.”
“Who notices?” – “I just go to church.”
She was destined to hold royal dainty Christ in her hand. This is what Israel had prophesied over the tribe of Asher, Anna’s tribe. To Asher he pronounced the blessing of riches and the yielding of royal dainties (Gen. 49:19). Anna the prophetess was of the tribe of Asher. Her eyes beheld and witnessed to the riches of the Christ child and the royalty of His name (Lk. 2:36-38). These were the “last days” of the tribe of Asher.
What if she had a stomach ache that day? She might think, “Maybe I should stay home today? I am eighty-four and its not so easy to get there anymore you know.”
Maybe she got a revelation when she was sixty-five, “The Messiah is coming to this church.” Maybe she prophesied at sixty-eight, “The Messiah is coming here.”
At the age of seventy others may have asked her, “Anna, what about the word you gave?”
At the age of seventy-five they may have said, “Anna, it must have had a ‘spiritual’ meaning?”
At age eighty the thoughts and words of others may have been, “Anna, you can’t expect too much. You need to expect less.”
At age eighty-three they may have been even a bit more aggressive towards her, “You’ve missed the great opportunities of life, Anna!”
Anna had no idea about the importance of her words that day. She just knew who she was and she was faithful to be herself.
What about the centurion Cornelius? He was the first of the Gentiles to receive Christ and the testimony of the Holy Spirit. He didn’t know who God was, but he was earnestly seeking to know Him. He had a respect for God that revealed a hungry heart to receive the things of God in his lifetime. He was faithful to pray and to give alms to the less fortunate (Acts 10:1-8). When he heard the words of Peter the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his household. This was the open door for God’s life to the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48). The significance of Cornelius and his family was huge to the open door of salvation to the Gentile nations of the world.
In the village of Joppa there was a special lady named Dorcas. She made special clothing for forgotten widows. Her story is a testimony to the need for us all!
Acts 9:36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, 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. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.
No one could tell the widows of Joppa about the love of God like Dorcas. Although heaven was a great destiny for her, there was still need in Joppa for the widows to know how much God loved them. The apostle Peter was less important than Dorcas that day, other then he was needed to raise her from the dead so others would know how much God cared for them. Dorcas made one of a kind articles of clothing for those who perhaps thought they were forgotten.
You don’t really know how significant your life is to others, but who you are affects the lives of more than you know. We must be faithful to be who we are in this world so that God’s glory fills every space and every corner of this earth. Be faithful to be who you are! It is your authority of life for the sake of the world!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson