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Essays on Faith: God prescribes the perfect medicine

My husband and I hadn’t been to the seashore for many years. Then the unexpected happened. I became ill: lost weight, had no appetite, was pale and just didn’t feel well. Even worse — I was depressed!

Sometimes God places people in our lives to help us through times like these — and that’s exactly what happened. My son-in-law suggested to my daughter that they ask us to come with them to Myrtle Beach for a few days. She thought it was a great idea and they brought it to us.

“You wouldn’t have to do a thing but sit on the balcony all day if that’s what you wanted,” my son-in-law said. “I’ll do all the driving and, when you get tired, we’ll stop and rest or eat — even stay overnight to break up the trip if you want.” When I hesitated, he said, “Ah, c’mon, Peg. The sea air and sunshine will do wonders for you!”

In his usual manner, Mr. H. said, “It’s up to you.”

I was reluctant, but must confess that what finally convinced me was the idea of getting to watch our 2-year-old grandson, Chase, experience, for the first time, the beauty of the ocean and all the fun that comes with a visit to the beach. Even if I could resist the other arguments, this one was irresistible. I gave in.

It was September and therefore, not difficult to get hotel reservations. We easily obtained a suite that was perfect for two families ... and it had a kitchen. We could eat breakfast and lunch in if we wanted. In a few days, we were all packed and heading south. It was a long, tiring trip, but we split it up by stopping for the night about halfway. That way, we arrived at the beach by mid-afternoon.

After we checked into our suite on the 17th floor — way up there where the people on the ground look like toys — we knew, in spite of our weariness from the trip, there was one important thing to do: We had to introduce Chase to the incredible Atlantic Ocean!

And what a delight it was!

Sharing his excitement as he scurried around on the beach fast and furiously was thrilling beyond measure! It was as if he knew there wasn’t enough time to take it all in. He loved the ankle-deep, white sand and the water rolling in to embrace the shore. He giggled when he saw a wave coming and ran to meet it, but when it got very close, he squealed, then turned and ran away as fast as his little short legs would carry him ... only to repeat the process with the next wave. Watching him was an unforgettable experience!

Although I’d been there many times before, everything seemed different this time. Perhaps it was because it was September, or maybe being ill had given me a keener appreciation for things I’d previously taken for granted. Possibly, I was seeing it through Chase’s eyes — for the first time. All I know is that both the ocean and sky were the bluest blue I’d ever seen. They were so near the same shade it was difficult to tell where one ended and the other began. The next day, while the others played on the beach, I sat on the balcony captivated by the magnificent view. I drank it in eagerly — attempting to store it deep inside so I could retrieve it any time I needed a pick-me-up.

Each evening, just after dark, we took a walk on the beach. This is my favorite time of day at the seashore, walking beside that overwhelming body of water with a luminous full moon hanging so low in the sky that I feel as if I can reach right out and touch it. And seeing its brilliant light glistening from the whitecaps as they roll in, kiss the shore and hurry out again renders me speechless every time. It makes me feel small and reinforces my belief that there is a God who is in control of everything ... especially our lives. We are merely puppets with Him pulling the strings to affect our every move. As my bare feet sink into the cool wet sand and the warm ocean breeze caresses my body, I am lost in another world and not eager to return.

When the vacation was over and I was forced back to reality, I knew my son-in-law’s prediction had been right on target! It did, indeed, do wonders for me. Not only was I feeling better when we returned, but I also felt a peace that had been absent for a long time.

And I was thankful that God had prescribed the perfect medicine for me.

Peggy Toney Horton lives in Nitro. Essays on Faith may be submitted to gazette@wvgazettemail.com.

Funerals for Friday, July 19, 2019

Cawley Jr., George - 3 p.m., Gatens - Harding Funeral Home, Poca.

Cunningham, Corinna - 11 a.m., Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mt. Lookout.

Evenson, Warren - 2 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Lawrence, Jerry - 1 p.m., Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.

Ratliff, Sarah - 2 p.m., Odd Fellow Cemetery, Oak Hill.

Williams, Scott - 11 a.m., Gatens - Harding Funeral Home, Poca.