Yep, it seems that God answers Max's prayers in special ways. He has rather gotten spoiled by it, I think. The other day he was complaining that God doesn't answer his prayers anymore. He had prayed for Luke, and he still wasn't better. He prayed to get Kane, and he didn't get him either. (I will explain who Kane is in a minute.)
But as I explained to Max, God isn't our personal genie. He doesn't work for us, we work for Him. And He answers all prayers, but doesn't necessarily give us what we want, but does what is best for us.
Still, I understand the discouragement. I have been feeling it myself with Luke. Still not better, still has his tic. I just feel that I am forever waiting for appointments so that we can get to the treatment. I have never been through anything so hard, emotionally, except for maybe my heart attack. As strange as it may sound--a tic being compared to a heart attack--it has been that hard. Simply because it is my child who is suffering, and I can't do a thing to stop it. It's a terrible feeling.
I know that God was listening in our conversation and He already knew what was going on in Max's heart. I had been sensing it in the past few weeks; something different about Max regarding his spiritual life. I asked him if he was mad at God, and I'm glad he opened up to me about his doubts.
About Kane. He is a dog that we have been fostering through the dog boarding Veterinarian clinic we volunteer at. He was brought in a few weeks back by someone who found him wandering around a highway. No one claimed him, so now he belongs to the clinic.
Max and I played with Kane for the few days that he was there, and we both knew he would not last long, but would be adopted soon. Max begged that we adopt him; we stood firm and told him no. It was true that Kane was a great dog, but the thought of a second dog wasn't appealing to either me or Dennis. Despite this, Max would pray (out loud, so we could hear him), that we would adopt Kane one day, and me and Dennis would just look at each other and roll our eyes.
And then we arrived at the clinic one day, and they told us that Kane had been adopted. I looked quickly at Max's face, and he was good about putting a smile on his face and nodding his head that it was good that Kane found a home. But I could see the sadness, and of course, it made me sad for him.
I had thought that Max had forgotten about Kane over the next couple weeks that followed, but every so often, he brought up that he missed Kane. He even continued to pray that "Kane would come back to us", which surprised me. Hadn't he accepted that Kane was gone? I figured he would soon forget about Kane, and it seemed that he did, except that every so often, he would sigh and say that he missed Kane.
I had no idea that Max was doubting God at the time, or wondering why He hadn't answered His prayers in the way he wanted. But isn't it consoling to see that, what we don't know, God does? What we don't see festering in our children's hearts, He sees! And He takes out what He doesn't want, or reveals to us--the parents--what needs to be shown.
And so it was the day before Kane came back, that Max admitted to me his deep disappointment and confusion over God not giving him what he prayed for for so long. And as I said, we talked about it and I felt like Max accepted God's answer. That was Sunday.
On Monday, we went to the clinic as usual, and the receptionist greeted us with, "Guess who's back?"
I almost dreaded hearing the answer, worried that one of the tougher dogs were back in the boarding kennels.
"Kane is back!" She said. I looked at Max almost with dread. I knew that he would expect that this was his answer to prayer.
Kane had been returned due to not getting along with the owners cat. Having a strong prey drive (he is a Lab), he went after the cat one day, and somehow, the owners other dog got into it as well. Things got out of control, and the owner decided to return Kane.
Max was thrilled to see Kane, and Kane seemed happy to see us. And as I knew would happen, the moment we were alone, Max said excitedly, "Kane is back! God answered my prayer! We're supposed to have him!"
I already knew that the answer was still no, that we couldn't afford another dog, couldn't afford the care of another one, not to mention one so big. But, it was difficult seeing Kane there. He had finally had a taste of freedom and time in a home, and he was so sad to be back in a kennel. That is when a strange idea began to form in my head...
And so we are fostering Kane. He has fit in with the family so much better than I thought he would, and everyone loves him. Everyone, but Joey. But he is slowly getting used to him. It may take a while though.
Yet, oddly enough, it is the person who was so adamantly against adopting Kane who has fallen in love with him and is talking about the possibility of adopting him. Dennis has always wanted a big hunting dog, and it seems he's found one in Kane. Those two are inseparable; wherever Dennis is, Kane is. And if Dennis leaves, Kane goes from room to room, looking for him.
He is great with the kids. Very affectionate, but not overly so. Very respectful of Joey, which I appreciate, though Joey doesn't. "Calm and balanced", as Cesar would say. Keeps his head respectfully bowed down low around Joey, keeps his tail wagging at a low angle. Does not push Joey to be friendly. Yet, loves his love from us. Yes, Kane is practically the perfect dog; except for the drool and that he seems to think he's allowed on the furniture. (He's not, but he's pretty tough to push off.)
Max's prayer seems to be answered. He prayed for the impossible to be possible: that Kane would come back to him, even when he already belonged to somebody else.
I don't yet know for sure if we will adopt Kane. It still seems a little too soon. But watching Dennis and Kane, I can't imagine Dennis letting him go. Watching the kids around Kane, and how gentle Kane is with the kids, it is difficult to let him go to another family. And watching Joey wrestle with his insecurities, and how Kane is so patient with him, is actually really inspiring to how I would like to be to others who try my patience.
More than that, all of this reminds me to not give up on God with Luke. I think this was the biggest message for me. At this time, it feels like God hasn't heard my prayer. It is such an easy thing to fix--this tic--and yet, He hasn't. I have been having a hard time trusting Him because of that.
But I will pray for the impossible to be possible. Like Max, I will keep praying that my prayer will be answered.