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A Little Think

Sleeping Bear

Have you ever believed in something, even when you could not see it? My daughter-in-law, Katie, had heard our stories about Sleeping Bear Sand Dune for so long she could not wait to see if for herself! So when she came to northern Michigan from the UK, we tried to squeeze in a side trip to the dunes. With too many stops on the way, we reached the dune at dark. Call me crazy, but I insisted we drive to its base and in the headlights at least take a handful of sand home to prove there really is a dune and that we were there!

Katie is a proper English girl who is amused at some of my shenanigans. This was no exception. Now, two years later, she will be coming for another visit. This time I'll plan ahead so darkness does not hide the reality, the glory of the dune.

The Ogibway Indian Legend of the Sleeping Bear is that long, long ago, a mother bear and her two cubs fled a Wisconsin forest fire. They attempted to swim to Michigan. The mother bear made it, but as hard as her brave little cubs tried, the distance and the water overcame them and they slipped beneath the waves. When Mother Bear reached the shore she climbed to the top of the dune to search in vain for her cubs. The Great Spirit took pity on her and raised her cubs up from the depths, forming North and South Manitou Islands, prominent to this day. The mother bear fell asleep and became the Sleeping Bear Dune. In a sense the mother and her cubs are reunited. You can read more for your own visit by going to

Why am I telling you a Chippewa (Ogibway) Indian story about my favorite dune? Because it's summer and I'm spending a weekend on Lake Michigan with no time to drive to the dunes. I'll eventually get to the 50,000-acre State Park of the shifting sand dunes, which have moved inland over the years, covering land and leaving forests desolate. When you go, take one of the tours and drive along certain parts of the miles' long dune for spectacular views.

The pictures will give you an idea why I wonder what in the world Katie will think when she finally sees the real thing. The pocket full of sand from that dune gave her a feel, literally, of what it is like. But when she stands before its majesty, climbs its beautiful sand, and looks out over Glen Lake to the east and Lake Michigan to the west, she may be speechless.

Visiting Sleeping Bear National Park at night reminds me of being in the dark about life situations. It might be the relationship problem that doesn't get resolved, the health issue with its built-in fears, or employment challenges. These dilemmas come with promise and potential. But it's so dark right now you doubt if a solution "dune" even exists. You need a pocket full of sand to assure you that "dune" is really there!

The good news is you don't have to wish upon a star to believe the dune is there. God wants to step into your story. He offers to be your "dune" and He covers much more than 50,000 acres of your life. There are no shifting sands with Him! He covers it all from start to finish with promises based on what He did for you in His Son, Jesus Christ. He has plans for good for you, no matter what your situation is right now. He's able to take it somewhere that works for you and to bring glory to Himself in the process. He wants to hang out with you in conversation, when you read the Bible, and when you get together with others who believe in Christ. You can pick up a pocket full of promises to remind you He's with you in the dark times and will lead you through them to the other side. Simply invite Him into your life, your hopes, and your fears, and lean a little harder on Him.

Once you experience God's presence and His peace that passes understanding no matter the situation, you might be speechless with gratitude. Trust Him in the dark and He will shine His Light-the Light of the world-Jesus, into your life for you to see with a new vantage point. With fresh insights, a new determination, and sharpened clarity, you'll see the difference. BTW...when you do visit Sleeping Bear, go in the daytime. When you draw near to the Lord, it can be anytime, anywhere. He's waiting. Consider it "dune"!

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