Maybe you have heard a variation of this joke:
Herbie is driving in Manhattan. He’s very late for an important meeting, he’s looking for a parking place and, of course, can’t find one. He’s frantic. In desperation, he turns towards heaven and says, God, if you give me a parking place, I promise that I won’t ever skip church to watch football again, I’ll double my contribution in the offering and I’ll volunteer to teach Sunday school for a year.” Suddenly, a parking space opens up just in front of him. Herbie gazes up to heaven and says, “Never mind, I just found one.”
Sometimes a very quick answer to prayer catches us off-guard—our spiritual reflexes can be slow to make the connection. Besides, it’s human nature to get so excited about the gift that we forget the Giver. Isn’t that what happened with nine of the ten lepers whom Jesus healed? God is constantly giving to us and providing for us in ways that we don’t always recognize or remember. He provided holidays for the children of Israel just so we could stop and think about what He has done for us. And while I’m sure God appreciates our thanks, He also wants us to enjoy the fact that He cares for us and has shown it in many ways. Giving thanks for what God has done also helps us to trust Him. On the one hand, God values our trust, but on the other, trusting God is the most valuable resource we have to press through life’s hardships.
Thanksgiving may not be a biblical holiday but it certainly is based on biblical principles. When I thank God, I always like to thank Him for those blessings which I’m aware of and, because I’m sure I’m sometimes like Herbie, for those I’m not aware of. And now that I am pushing fifty I have to add, “and for those I’ve forgotten!”
Newsletter Editor, Missionary
Ruth Rosen, daughter of Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen, is a staff writer and editor with Jews for Jesus. Her parents raised her with a sense of Jewishness as well as "Jesusness." Ruth has a degree in biblical studies from Biola College in Southern California and has been part of our full-time staff since 1979. She's toured with Jewish gospel drama teams and participated in many outreaches. She writes and edits quite a few of our evangelistic resources, including many broadside tracts. One of her favorites is, "Who Needs Politics." Ruth also helps other Jewish believers in Jesus tell their stories. That includes her father, whose biography she authored in what she says was "one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life." For details, or to order your copy of Called to Controversy the Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus, click here. Or click here for a video desription of the biography. For the inside story and "extras" about the book, check out our Called to Controversy Facebook page. Ruth also writes shorter "faith journey" stories in books like Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician as well as in booklets like From Generation to Generation: A Jewish Family Finds Their Way Home, which you can download for free here. She edits the Jews for Jesus Newsletter and RealTime for Christians who want to pray for our ministry and our missionaries. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys writing fiction and playing with her dog, Annie, whom she "rescued" from a shelter. Ruth says, "Some people say that rescue dogs have issues, and that is probably true. If dogs could talk, they'd probably say that people have issues, and that is probably even more true. I'm glad that God is in the business of rescuing people, (and dogs) despite—or maybe because of—all our issues." You can follow Ruth Rosen on facebook or as RuthARosen on twitter.