Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)
TITLE: Her Retreat
By Lauren Bombardier
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After supper and an evening service, Sara lay in the tent she shared with four of the young campers and listened to the waves beating on the shore. She couldn't think of a better place to have a campout. She was also hoping that she could spend some quality time with her Lord. Oh, Father! she prayed. I just can't get enough of the magnificence You have created here. These little glimpses of heaven make me hunger for my home. She prayed for each of the campers she was in charge of and then went to sleep.
She wasn't the only one to get up with the sun, but she decided to go for a walk before breakfast. She grabbed her Bible and a jacket, told another camp counselor where she was going, and took off. After about twenty minutes she came to a little cove with a single flat-topped rock. What a perfect place for her quiet time! She climbed on top of the rock and devoted herself to her Lord.
When Sara returned, breakfast was starting and the camp director was going over the day's schedule. The theme for that day was simple – retreat. The goal was to retreat from the troubles of the world and to retreat to God for peace, comfort, strength, instruction, wisdom, and healing.
Throughout the day, several young campers sought her out for counsel and prayer. Sara was quite popular with the campers and counselors because they could see that her faith was genuine and she lived her relationship with God. She was a young woman after God's own heart.
That evening, during personal devotions, Sara went back to her cove. It had been a good day but she was tired. It was nice to get away by herself for a few minutes. She waded in the sea as she worshipped her Lord with praise and thanksgiving. She was standing with her arms raised and her eyes closed, and her voice was raised in song when a huge wave crashed over her head. Before she knew what had happened, she was swept out to sea.
She struggled to keep her head above water. The shore was farther than she had thought it would be. With a prayer to her Lord to keep her safe, she started to swim to shore. Halfway there, another wave rolled over her, forcing her under the water. She bobbed back up and started to swim again. Wave after wave kept forcing her under water until she was too tired to go on.
The thought passed through her mind that she might not make it back to shore. She had hears that if you go under three times, you would not come back up the fourth time. She knew it was just superstition. Still, she pled with her Lord to save her. Another wave hit her and she was too weak to swim to the top. Each prayer she made was more desperate than the last. She realized she was sinking. Suddenly, she felt a great sense of peace. She was losing consciousness and her last thought was that her Lord was going to save her.
She opened her eyes. What was that light? It was so bright! She gasped. Had she been saved? A Man's face came into her view. His smile was so kind and His eyes were so full of love. He held out His hand, beckoning her. She gazed into the face of her Lord as she took His hand. She knew now that that she was truly safe, for here was her Savior. Here was her Father, Brother, Beloved and Friend. Here was her Retreat.
Author's note: This story is inspired by true events. A wonderful family in my church lost their precious daughter in a drowning accident similar to this one last November. I never met their daughter, but I have heard that she was much like Sara in this story. Her faith was so strong that even in her death she was winning souls to Christ. I would like to dedicate this story to that family.
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