In each of our Adventist Churches, there is a Sabbath School program to motivate and teach us. Some of the programs make the Bible stories come alive so that we feel as if we were actually there.
In the district, where my husband and I serve in ministry, something unusual happened on Sabbath, June 9, 2001. The Sabbath School program covered the Bible story of Tabitha, a very special woman. The church ladies had designated the day as the Dorcas and Good Samaritan Day. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. The participants arrived on time and prepared the platform. The woman selected to represent Tabitha, Luz Marina Ramos, had excitedly prepared for this event. She had dedicated her life to serve others.
When the platform was being organized, the actress laid a bed sheet down on the floor where she would later faint. She exclaimed, "Here is where I am going to die!" Everyone thought she referred to her part in the play and didn't pay too much attention to her comments.
The program started on time. There were no delays. The narrator began by telling where Tabitha lived and how she liked to serve others and help the needy. At that moment a young lady came onto the stage and Tabitha measured her size, and in doing so, Tabitha suddenly fell. The congregation thought that she was getting ahead of the story. After a few seconds of observation, it appeared that she had suffered a heart attack because of the way that she had fallen.
At that painful moment, first aid was administered. Confusion reigned as happens in moments of crisis. No one knew what to do. It was decided to take her to the hospital and on the way there, Luz Marina Ramos died.
It was a very sad time for the church. People began to surmise. Some said that at that moment the church should have gathered together in prayer and God would have brought her back to life. Others felt that this was a call from God. Those that arrived late felt rebuked—"if we were in her place, we would have died anywhere, but she was happy to die at church."
The neighbors told me that morning she had been very happy as she left her house. She had greeted a neighbor knocking on the next door, "Perhaps they won't open the door as they get up late. But today is Sabbath and I am going to my church." She waved good-bye and could be heard singing, "Alas and Did My Savior Bleed."
"Oh Savior, help me to be faithful and when you reign in Glory; remember me."
Some time later, I went to Luz's home. I went alone as my husband was holding evangelistic meetings in Bogota. It was very painful to see her two soung children weeping (12 and 13 years old). I prayed to the Lord Jesus and felt strengthened to give them hope. The children hugged me and cried. I never had imagined I would be able to talk to them about the love of Cod. I told them how faithful their mother had been and that the Creator should be their guide so that they could see her again.
At that moment I could understand many things. But above all else, when we are in difficult moments and we ask for help from above, we will receive it. If our load is very heavy, Jesus will carry us in His arms.
Recipe for the Weak
If you are impatient, sit down and talk with Job.
If you are stubborn, go interview Moses.
If your knees tremble, study the experience of Elijah.
If you feel you do not have a song in your heart, listen to David.
If you are a person stuck to government laws, read Daniel.
If you are inclined to be lazy, consult James.
If you have lost your vision for the future, climb the ladder to Revelation and take a look toward the promised land.