Sudden Winds

By Kimberli Patterson

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(A true story)Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered (Joel 2:32).

The time had finally come. My family was about to take our annual trip to Bear Lake, Utah, and the excitement was as apparent as a flash of lightning. My brother, Mike, and I were more ecstatic than anyone else. We had talked our parents into letting us invite our next-door neighbor Kevin to come along. He had just received a two-man raft for his birthday, and we couldn’t wait to get that raft out on the lake.

As we all traveled to Bear Lake in our big, red van, Kevin, Mike, and I talked about all the things we would conquer in our “ship.” We were going to cruise from one side of the lake to the other. We were going to catch the biggest fish ever. And, best of all, we were going to wipe out all the evil pirates and their ships that might be lurking on the lake’s uncharted waters.

We arrived at Bear Lake in the early evening, and to our disappointment, it was too late to go to the beach. Although our spirits drooped a bit, we decided that it would be best if we had a good night’s rest before starting our adventures on the lake, anyway.

The next morning, Mike, Kevin, and I awoke before the sun had even taken its first peek at the northern part of Utah. We knew we couldn’t wake anyone else up, so we just whispered quietly about what the day would hold. After breakfast, we hurried to Rendezvous Beach. It was a beautiful day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was just right. As we got our first glimpse of the deep, blue water, we knew that “magic” was in the air.

We took turns pumping up the inflatable raft and were disappointed in its smallness. Sure, the raft was called a two-man raft, but we hadn’t believed that only two people would really fit in it. We’d thought all three of us could be out on the water together. However, we weren’t going to let this setback ruin our entire trip. We would just have to take turns. Since the raft was Kevin’s, he was the designated captain, and Mike and I took turns rafting with him. Mike went first. Their journey went as planned, and I couldn’t wait for mine.

After lunch, Kevin and I got in the raft and pushed off from shore. We were having the time of our lives. We took turns rowing; the person not rowing looked for a ship to attack. As time went on, we kept getting farther and farther from the beach. Before we knew it, my family looked like miniature figures who could fit into a dollhouse.

Kevin decided that we should start back. Before long, we realized that we weren’t making any progress. The wind had suddenly started blowing, and instead of getting closer to the shore where my family was, we were being blown farther away. Kevin and I were scared. We no longer felt as if we ruled the lake. We just wanted to be back with my family.

Kevin suggested that one of us get out of the raft and pull it back to shore while swimming. How could he even suggest such a thing? Everyone knows that the Bear Lake Monster isn’t real, but neither of us wanted to prove it! We started to panic. I felt as if someone had punched me in the stomach. The sun was starting to go down, and the temperature was going down with it. I looked at Kevin, and instead of seeing the “mighty captain” he was supposed to be, I saw a nine-year-old boy, a boy one year younger than me, shivering from both fright and the cold.

I was just as scared as Kevin. I started feeling the effects of being sopping wet, windblown, and cold. My “thinking wheels” started spinning, but I couldn’t come up with any plan. Hot tears formed a waterfall on my face, and I knew that this was one problem I wasn’t going to solve on my own.

I suggested that we say a prayer, and Kevin agreed. It was a short prayer and to the point. We told Heavenly Father that we needed His help and asked Him to please return us safely to the shore and to my family.

In less than a minute, three men in a motorboat were at our side to help us. Heavenly Father had sent them. When we arrived safely back on shore, we received a warm welcome from my family.

The rest of the week at Bear Lake was full of fun and excitement. However, our conversations were no longer centered on the lake we would rule and conquer in the raft. Instead, we talked about the small miracle we received because of our short, sincere prayer.

Illustrated by Dick Brown