The Diabetes Dilemma
September 2019

“The Diabetes Dilemma,” Friend, September 2019

The Diabetes Dilemma

“He hears and answers me” (Children’s Songbook, 14).

brother giving his sister a music player

Illustrations by Jared Beckstrand

Joe’s sister Sariah was sick. Not the kind of sick where you cough or have a stomachache. Mom and Dad said she might have diabetes.

Joe didn’t know what diabetes was, but it sounded scary. Then Mom and Dad explained that it’s when people’s bodies have trouble using sugar from the food they eat. Sariah had to spend a few days in the hospital to find out if she had diabetes.

Sometimes Sariah got on Joe’s nerves. She tried to play with his friends. Once she even lost his video-game controller. But he loved her so much. I don’t want her to be sick, he thought as tears came to his eyes.

Joe’s sisters helped Sariah get ready for the hospital. Mary got out Sariah’s backpack. Hannah helped pack her pajamas. Lilly added a fuzzy blanket. Joe wanted to help too, but he didn’t know how.

Soon Sariah was all packed.

“Let’s pray before we go,” Dad said. “Joe, would you say the prayer?”

Joe nodded. “Dear Heavenly Father,” he began. “Please bless Sariah to not have diabetes. Please bless her to be OK.” As he prayed, Joe felt a little better.

As the family came together for a hug, Joe had an idea.

He went to his room and grabbed the portable music player he got for his birthday. He checked to make sure Sariah’s favorite songs were on it.

“Here,” he said, handing it to Sariah. “You can take this to the hospital.” She smiled and held it tight as she walked to the car.

The next day, Mom took Joe and his sisters to the hospital to visit Sariah. Joe was nervous as they walked down the hall. Please bless her to not have diabetes, he prayed for what felt like the hundredth time.

When they got to Sariah’s room, she was sitting up in bed with tubes attached to her arms. She smiled a little when she saw everyone.

“We just got the tests back,” Dad said. “The doctors say Sariah has type 1 diabetes. We’ll have to help her with her medicine. But she’ll be OK.”

Joe’s stomach dropped. He went out into the hallway and sat down next to the door. He buried his face in his arms.

“What’s wrong, Joe?” Mom said as she looked out the doorway.

“I prayed that Sariah wouldn’t have diabetes,” Joe said. “Why didn’t Heavenly Father answer my prayer?”

Mom put her arm around him. “Heavenly Father always answers our prayers. But it’s not always in the way we want. Sometimes, instead of taking something hard away, He answers by giving us peace and helping us be strong. I know Heavenly Father will help Sariah.”

Joe nodded slowly. He didn’t feel peaceful or strong right now. But he remembered the good feeling he had during their family prayer.

Together they walked back into the room. Joe’s sisters were playing a card game, just like they did at home. And they all looked happy, even Sariah.

Then Joe noticed something. Sariah had headphones around her neck and his music player in her lap.

“She keeps listening to the music you brought her,” Mom said. “It really helps her feel calm.”

Joe felt warm inside. He knew that Heavenly Father was already helping his family.

The author lives in Utah, USA.