Has God ever surprised you? If He hasn’t yet, just wait. God is full of awesome surprises. One is, even though you are still a kid, you can make a very big and very important difference in someone’s life. You might not find out about it until much later. For instance…
There was once a girl named Ruthie. Ruthie lived in L.A. and was very picky about her friends. She had two or three favorite people, and on days when she couldn’t play with one of them she would rather not play with anyone.
Well, you know how moms can be, and Ruthie’s mom wondered if she was lonely playing by herself. Why don’t you go across the street and play with Ricky?” she’d say.
“Aw, Mom,” Ruthie would groan, “all she ever wants to do is play with Barbie dolls.” (Ruthie preferred adventure games and climbing trees to dolls.) But if she got bored enough, or if her mom nagged enough, she’d wander across the street even if she didn’t feel like playing with dolls.
Sometimes Ruthie would tell Ricky about Yeshua, which was hard because, like most of Ruthie’s Jewish friends, Ricky could not understand how Ruthie could be Jewish and yet believe in Jesus. Ruthie didn’t spend as much time trying to explain it to Ricky as she did with some of her other friends. Sometimes she remembered Ricky when she prayed for people whom she hoped would believe in Jesus so they could go to heaven. But she didn’t pray for Ricky nearly as much as for her nana and zayde, and mostly she didn’t think that much about who Ricky was or what Ricky needed. Ruthie was, well, kind of selfish.
When Ruthie was 11 years old she and her family moved all the way across the country. All the way, and that means from California to New York. She made other friends and thought a little more about Yeshua and what kind of a friend He wanted her to be. Lots of other things happened, and bit by bit she became a little less selfish.
When Ruthie got to be a grown-up lady (well, kind of grown-up anyway) she wasn’t called Ruthie anymore, she was called Ruth. And she worked at the Jews for Jesus office in San Francisco. One of Ruth’s favorite things to do was write short papers about Yeshua so people could know Him. One day when she was at the office the phone rang. Guess who it was? Ricky!
Ricky had received one of the tracts that Ruth wrote. When Ricky saw her old friend’s name on the tract, she remembered her—even though they had not seen one another for 24 years. What a surprise! She wondered if it could really be the same girl she had known so long ago. Ricky was so happy to find out that it was. And Ruth could hardly believe it.
They talked and talked. Ricky did not know if she could let herself believe in Yeshua or not. She had been hoping God would make something special happen to help her think out what to believe. She even began reading the Bible. When she got that tract with Ruth’s name on it, she wondered if that might be the something special she had asked God to do. Ricky didn’t remember that Ruthie hadn’t been so nice to her. But she did remember that Ruthie was Jewish and used to tell her about Jesus.
Now the two of them plan to talk on the telephone every week or two. God surprised them both by bringing them back into each other’s life.
Ruth felt bad that she hadn’t been very nice to Ricky before. But she realized that even though she grumbled about playing with Ricky’s Barbies…she did do one thing that a friend should always do. She told Ricky about Jesus. Now Ruth is really excited that she has a second chance to be a friend to Ricky. I know, because Ruth is me. Would you pray for me, that God will help me share Yeshua’s love with Ricky? And will you pray for Ricky, that she will be able to understand and believe the truth about Yeshua?
God is full of surprises. You never know when He might choose you to be a special someone to help another person become a believer. But here’s one thing you can know: When you tell someone the truth about Jesus, it is never trashed. God will use it sometime, somehow—maybe even when you need a happy surprise.