saved from a tornado

12 03 2007

Recently I wrote about the F3 tornado that hit my hometown of Dumas, and today someone forwarded me an article about an evangelist who was driving through that area at the time it was happening.  Supposedly this article is from the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper, but I couldn’t find it.  (If anyone has a link to it, let me know and I’ll include it.)  Anyway, it’s a really neat story.

God’s hand held me against the wall
By Dr. Travis Plumlee

Last week, as storm clouds gathered; I headed off for another revival. I had been complaining to my wife of being tired of driving in all the snow the last few weeks up in Illinois and Kentucky. I was glad to be headed back down south. There would be no threat of a blizzard here.

As I headed down Highway 65 towards Dumas, things got nasty in a hurry. By the time I arrived in Dumas, it looked like there could be a tornado drop from the menacing clouds. I decided the worst place to be in a tornado was in your car. I had already gone through that experience just a few short years ago on my way to another revival in Crossett. I would not be caught inside my vehicle by another tornado. I saw the Fred’s store and the McDonalds restaurant. I decided to pull into the parking lot at Fred’s and buy some much-needed candy, followed by a quick meal at McDonalds. I decided if a bad storm came, I could take refuge in McDonalds or Fred’s.

I put on my blinker and pulled into the left turn lane. Then, the spirit of the Lord prompted me. The Lord was trying to reach me through my heart and simply instructed me to drive on. It didn’t make sense. God doesn’t always make sense. But I always try and stay tuned in to the leading of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of my life. I needed to be out of my car if there was going to be a tornado. Why would God have me stay in my car and drive on? Yet, I trust Him and know His will for me is good and acceptable.

Therefore, I pulled back into traffic and drove on. Psalm 55:8 – “I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” Moments after I left this shopping center, it was leveled by a tornado. If I had gotten out and gone in, I would have been in the direct destruction of that tornado which left this area of Dumas destroyed. I drove on.

I was down south now, near the Louisiana border. I listened to the radio which had an hysterical announcer who said, “If you are on Highway 65 between Lake Village, Arkansas, and Tallulah, Louisiana, you should pull off the road, get out of your car and find shelter. There is a tornado on the ground headed for you.” That was exactly where I was. There were no towns. I had passed several farm houses. I thought I would just run up to one and beg the people to let me in. However, there was no house in sight at this moment.

I caught a glimpse of a small brick outbuilding standing near the road in a field. I parked my car and ran for it. I thought I could break the window out and seek shelter, and then pay for the window later. This was an emergency. I had just arrived at the building. I had tried to call my family to tell them where they could find my body. But I could not reach them. I called a pastor friend to tell him where I was. I never finished the phone call. The tornado hit and pinned me against the wall. I could not pry myself free. I tried with all my strength to pull my arms away from the wall and could not. The tornado went roaring by, with me plastered against the outside wall as a spectator to the wrath of the storm.

I watched as missiles of bricks and sheet metal flew past me. I was scared, yet calm. I prayed as I always do, Father, thy will be done. I told God I was ready to go if it was His will. But the human side kicked in and I told him to make it fast. If I have to go, please don’t cut my head off or something like that. Strange thoughts were running through my head at this moment. But I had an inner peace that God was in control and I was ready to go to heaven if it was His will. The tornado passed. I was covered in mud, leaves and soaking clothes. But not a scratch on me. The tornado winds did not pin me against that wall. It was the hand of God. God knew if I moved to the right I would be hit by fling debris and killed. If I moved to the left, the same fate would occur. He said, “I need you to preach some more revivals for me. You are not going anywhere. I am in control and I am going to pin you right here and not let you move. My providential hand of protection will be on you. There will be no harm come to you in this tornado.” Nahum 1:3 – “The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” The pastor I had called to tell him where I was had heard the whole thing on my cell phone. He said, I heard you say, “here it comes and then there was this horrible sounding wind and your phone went dead. I thought we had heard your last words.” But not this day. I changed my clothes in my car and went and experienced an awesome revival from the Lord.

I don’t believe in luck. I believe in God’s providential power. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Psalm 144:2 – “My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust. Psalm 145:3 – “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.”

My God still makes miracles. I look for them in the every day of life. Some people will say I was lucky to survive. Luck had nothing to do with it. God did it all. I look for his mercy and protection and his miracles, and I find them all the time. God was not through with me this day. Twice in one day, His power protected me from everything this earth could throw at me. This is why it is so important to always be led by the Spirit. What if I had not listened and just dismissed all of this as nonsense? I probably would have been flattened in Dumas. But even when I took a direct hit from a tornado that evening, God was in control. I encourage you all to look for God in everything. To see His omnipotent power displayed.

Isaiah 25:4 – “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, A REFUGE FROM THE STORM, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones IS AS A STORM AGAINST THE WALL.”

God has delivered me from a storm while I was against the wall.

For me this day, the blast of wind was under divine restraint, for He holds the wind in His hand. Hallelujah to the all powerful God Almighty! He will decide my destiny.




One response

13 03 2007

Here’s a link to the article in a Missouri publication.

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