Did you ever have one of those days when just everything went wrong? And everybody told you to cheer up, tomorrow would be better? But tomorrow wasn’t any better, in fact it was worse?
That’s the way it was for me. And it was my birthday too.
First, I didn’t get the cell phone I asked for. Mom said I didn’t need a cell phone yet. I told her everyone had one, but she said she couldn’t afford to get me a cell phone and pay for a party.
The party was a total disaster too because there was a mix up in the schedule and the room we’d rented had also been rented by another kid. By the time they got that straightened out, all the kids were getting picked up so I didn’t even really have a party.
Worst of all, my best friend, Georgie (Georgina, but she hates that), was really sick and I wasn’t allowed to see her.
That night at bedtime, Mom sat on my bed like she always does.
“I’m really sorry your birthday turned out so badly,” she said. “Let’s talk to God about it and we can ask Him to help Georgie too.”
I asked God to help Georgie get better soon.
Mom said everything would be better tomorrow, turned out the light and shut the door. I figured we’d both asked God to help Georgie so He would take care of it. Tomorrow she’d be better and we could try out the new computer game I got for my birthday.
The next day Georgie had to go to the hospital. I wasn’t allowed to visit.
Mom sat on my bed that night and told me that Georgie was really sick and would have to stay in the hospital for a while. She said that sometimes when we ask God for something, we expect Him to do what we ask immediately, but He knows what is best. I wasn’t so sure what she meant, but I asked Him again to help Georgie get well. Again I went to sleep believing He would make everything ok.
But Georgie wasn’t getting better. Georgie wasn’t coming home. And I still couldn’t visit.
After a few days, I didn’t want to pray anymore. It wasn’t helping. I was mad at God anyway. Why wasn’t He answering? Why wasn’t He helping Georgie?
When Mom came in at bedtime, I pretended to pray, but all I could think about was that it wasn’t going to do any good anyway, so why bother?
Everyone at church was praying for Georgie and still God wasn’t answering.
At school everyone kept asking what was wrong with Georgie and if she was going to be back soon. We made a big card for her and everyone signed it. My teacher asked if I would draw a big cat on the front. Georgie loves cats and I’m the class artist. I drew the best cat I’d ever done and hoped Georgie would know how much I missed her. Maybe the cat would cheer her up and make her want to get better.
Every night Mom prayed asking God to help Georgie. I still just pretended to pray.
Finally, after a week we heard some good news. Georgie didn’t have a fever anymore. The medicine the doctors were giving her was starting to work.
“Thank you, Father, for helping Georgie,” Mom prayed. When she finished, she looked up at me.
“What’s the matter, Kay?” She asked.
I was kind of afraid to tell her, but I always told her stuff before. “I’m mad at God for not answering my prayers and not helping Georgie”, I finally admitted.
“But, Kayla, He did answer. Georgie is getting better. They just had a hard time finding out which medicine to give her.”
“Why didn’t He help her sooner though?”
“Kayla, God is God. He knows everything. He answered at just the right time and in just the right way for Georgie. Sometimes when we ask God for something, the answer is wait. We don’t always understand and that’s ok, but God always answers our prayers in the best way.”
I thought about that as I went to sleep that night.
A few days later, Georgie came home. Mom said she would be tired and I couldn’t stay long, but I could visit her at last.
Georgie said she knew I’d drawn the cat. She said it was the best cat I’d ever drawn and she had looked at it every day. Her eyes looked all dark and she got sleepy after we talked for a while, but she was going to be ok. Her mom said she needed to get stronger, but she was going to get better and would be back to school in a few weeks.
After Mom turned out my light that night, I talked to God for the first time in a long time. It felt good to be back, but first I had to apologize for getting mad at Him.