As we drove into Petoskey State Park, the sky turned an ominous black. Just as I parked and stepped outside my truck, the wind whipped fiercely and raindrops began to fall. Mothers hurried their children along with their sand shovels from the beach to the safety of their cars. I smiled as one little boy’s shovel still had the price tag hanging from it as if it was purchased just for today. I questioned why I had purchased the $11 permit to even enter the park this day but today was supposed to be the day my son and I had planned to spend at Lake Michigan. Hoping to salvage our outing, we turned around and drove out, deciding to window shop in Petoskey until the storm had passed.
Apparently everybody else had the same plan. Driving in town was utter chaos. We parked our truck and paid our fee at the meter. It was raining so hard that I decided to leave my purse in the car, since I had packed neither an umbrella nor a coat because the weather report had said it would reach ninety degrees today. We walked through the rain, going in and out of shops, shivering the entire time from the irritating wind that tried to wreck our adventure. Eventually, the rain let up and so we headed back to the beach.
Once we were back at the park, we gathered our towels, our bag full of sunscreen (we are fair skinned and blue-eyed), and our water bottles and eagerly walked toward our spot in the sand. My son quickly disappeared with his cousin to hunt for Petoskey stones which gave me a little window to walk along the beach by myself. The storm had passed by now and the sun was peeking through the clouds, but the waves were strong and made their presence known. I watched families swimming in the lake, parents in chairs on the beach keeping a careful eye on their little ones, and couples hand in hand walking past me.
I came to a little area where no one was around and just stood there for a moment watching and listening to the waves. I took a deep breath in as the wind blew against my face. And I felt God’s presence. It was a moment with me and the Creator where I was fully aware of His power. Everything in that moment, the wind, the waves, the sand, the clouds, the stones, and the sun all pointed to Him and I wanted to stay there forever. Peace washed over me and every care disappeared in His presence.
I took some pictures hoping to use them in my blog. I walked some more, pondering what I would say about this moment. How could I incorporate the behavior of a wave, how it came in with a force, washed in stones, and flattened the sand to a perfect canvas on its exit? And yet, I felt so at home in this experience that I realized I had nothing to add to the magnificence of God. My journey as an EDS Mama faded away and the peace that I felt left me longing for more, realizing that perhaps it might be similar to what it feels like to finally walk into the eternal presence of God.
Eventually my son returned and we spent the last hour wading in the water, scooping up piles of stones and actually discovering some Petoskey stones. The storm had passed by now, but still the strength of the waves almost knocked us over. I thought about how the trials of life bring us waves that threaten to do the same, and yet we adapt and learn to play in the waves. Take a moment today, EDS Mama, to somehow set aside your waves and simply be in the presence of God. “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10 NIV.