I encourage you to read Acts chapters six and seven along with todays post. Stephen has just been assigned leader over the food ministry for widows. His story is taken from the scriptures. However, I have imagined the widow, how his life changed hers and the words she would have spoken to him... Dear Stephen,
I was broken when my husband passed away. I thought my life was at its worse, but then the Pharisees began knocking on my door. I could not believe what they were saying to me. They forced me from my home! They said it was the just and Godly thing to do. My husband owed many and it had to be paid. I never imagined me on the streets! I wanted to die! In my misery, I saw a great crowd...so many excited people. I picked up my small bag of possessions and followed. I did not know what to expect. Certainly, not the love shown to me...so hopeless...so hungry...not only for food, but for love and understanding. I was amazed by the things I saw and heard. I learned the truth about Jesus. I was fed. It changed my life. I began to have hope. Matt 23:14
It was you Stephen...the disciples...the believers...who reached out to me. I was encouraged during my time of despair. I've watched you live your life...a Godly example. You have so faithfully served alongside the disciples. Ministering to the people. I know Jesus is pleased. I was delighted when they appointed you...a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit to oversee the ministry that serves me daily. Acts 6:1-6
Your ministry is growing! The power of God is being seen through you...everyone's talking about it! The crowds grow larger every day! Oh, the awe on your face, as you see the hand of God move among us. Using you in such a way...a mere human...a willing vessel...performing His great signs and wonders. How great it must make you feel to see so many people healed and delivered before your very eyes! Acts 6:8
Why are things changing? I don't understand why these men are rising up against you. How could they be so angry about God moving? He is working miracles! Why do they not rejoice when people are being healed and delivered? Do they not hear or feel the Spirit of God speaking through you?This is a good thing! Why are they arguing? Acts 6:9-10
I can not believe this is happening! So many people are conspiring against you. Here you are giving of yourself...helping people...and they hope to persecute you! They are telling lies! Look at all those people who are listening...and spreading the lies! You've never spoken against God. You love Him. Acts 6:11-14
Oh dear Stephen, I am once again stricken with grief. They have seized you and taken you before that evil council. I'm crying out to God...The believers will petition the throne day and night to deliver you. This is a battle, but I can tell by the look on your face you are not alone. Acts 6:15
I know your heart is breaking. You love these people who are persecuting you! How could they? They have been healed...touched by God...seen God move...yet they fight against you! Why let the Evil one use them for his purposes? There is no good in him. He only brings discomfort and discouragement. You have taught them the true way...why did they not listen?
Seized and taken to prison without a cause, only good has come from your life. Here I stand in this crowded assembly. I hear people crying and screaming. It is awful in this place. The high priest is coming, you will soon stand before him. Are you afraid? I know you will only speak the truth...no matter the outcome. So many of us have been praying for mercy. I know you desire to be set free. You have so so much excitement for God in you. Your greatest desire to bring more believers to the throne. You love the food ministry so much. You just want to be freed to serve Jesus. Have you questioned God about the fairness of what you are suffering through? We are merely human. It is hard, if not impossible, to suffer without question, You have lived such a Godly...faithful life...now this happens. Don't worry Stephen, Jesus doesn't get mad at us when we have fears and doubts. He knows you are anchored in Him. Things are not turning out the way you planned, but God is bringing you comfort...He is with you. Acts 7:1
I so hope these people are listening? Such powerful words you are speaking. I feel Gods' anointing as you speak...do they? Is it touching their hearts? Could they possibly ignore the voice of God...the very God they so adamantly claim to be protecting? You so beautifully reminded them of the plight of their forefathers. The rocky road they traveled because ofdisobedience. God had such a beautiful journey mapped out for them...yet they refused to listen... God appointed faithful servants to lead them...all they needed to do was obey...yet they were stubborn and did things their own way. Is this not what is happening to you...Gods servant...rejected. Acts 7:2-53
I don't understand, why are they so furious? A great riot is breaking out all around you! Oh but your face, how peaceful you look! I can see the Spirit of God upon you! I don't understand why they don't desire that peace. Do they not see it? They all look so angry and miserable! It makes no sense to me. Why would they want to live that way? I think they are envious of you, yet all they have to do is reach out to God. He loves them as you. God wants to give them peace, comfort and use them as He has used you. Acts 7:54
Oh how I hope to see what you are looking upon, gazing heavenward...seeing the glory of God...Jesus, at the right hand of the Father. I feel His presence. All this evil is surrounding us, but God is holding you up. He knows exactly what you need to make it through. It is true...He will never leave you nor forsake you. Acts 7:55-56
Oh dear God...what are those terrible men doing? Why are they all rushing at you? I see evil all over their faces! How could they do this to another human being? Have they no heart? I can hardly bare to look at what is happening here! How you must be hurting. Surely even heaven cries out for you. They are stoning you to death! You are truly a righteous man, a Godly example, I am touched by how you continue forgiving them even as they do this! I will never forget the agony in your voice when you cried out to God "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" I can see by the look of peace on your face that He answered your plea. I take comfort in knowing you have entered heavens gates. What a great day of rejoicing must be taking place before our God! Acts 7:57-60
Precious Stephen, what a beautiful life you have lived. Without your ministry, your love for Gods' people, I don't know where I would be today. I needed Jesus and you led me to Him. Your story will be passed on through all generations Your great desire of reaching others will be fulfilled. Stories about Gods' love for you and for us...the followers. How His hand was always in your life. How He comforted you in your suffering. There is no one on this earth He loves any less. He is no respecter of person. From the lowest to the highest He loves us all. All that is required is to call upon the name of Jesus. To be set free from our sins. Lay down the past and follow after Him. These things, as His word, never change.
The Hungry Widow
About the Author: Hi, Thanks for checking out my bio! I am very new to the blogging community. Honestly, I'm a little behind the times and had little knowledge of all the great blog content to be found on the web! Once I discovered these great resources for encouragement and community, I felt prompted to start my own blog ministry. A very scary endeavor for someone who has never written anything outside of my own personal bible studies and journals. I just ask God to lead me in this and that I please Him in all that I do.
Simply human…Faced with challenges…Filled with joy.
Lisa Vaughn http://achristledpath.com/