Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Caught In the Eye of an F-4 Tornado

David Young revisits the scene of the F-4 Tornado

It was good Friday and the Tennessee minister decided to go for an early jog before his church service. He often ran, praying and talking to God as he went. After a few miles, it began to hail, then the lightening started, he quickly realized he was in trouble.The tornado moved swiftly upon him. He instinctively grabbed for the nearest tree & clung to it with all his might. As the wind began to pick up, he found his body flying straight out, waving like a flag in the wind.

David Young vividly recalls:

"The front wall of the tornado was bad, but when it passed, I found myself in the strangest world I’ve ever seen. I was in the eye of the tornado, and I knew it. I dropped back to the ground and instinctively curled around the tree again. A lot of debris was still shooting across the river, firing across my line of sight like meteors. But now I also saw debris spiraling inside the vortex of the tornado. Close to me, it was traveling at lightning speed, racing around and around just like you’d expect.

But farther up, along the inside of the funnel, the debris was moving slowly, gracefully, almost playfully at the top. It wasn’t circling; it was dancing, up and down more than from side to side. I don’t know how far up I could see, but it seemed like miles. A strange light illuminated the inside of the tornado. It was totally surreal. It was peaceful, calm, and, I hate to say it, incredibly happy. I fancied that angels were performing a ballet just for me at the top of heaven’s ladder. So this is what’s inside a tornado, I remember thinking.

It is not possible to describe the feelings you get in the eye of a tornado. There is such a mixture of primal feelings—blood pulsing, mouth drying, eyes focused, heart racing, muscles taut. Everything that has been you, in my case for 48 years, comes down to one infinite point and freezes; your breathing calms and your mind seems to step out of your body and look around in amazement. You notice the smallest details: a leaf blowing past, a small sound, the strange illumination inside the vortex. You watch the inside of the funnel as though you were watching a movie. There’s a strange sense of detachment.

And you feel, at the same time, both all alone and totally immersed in the love of God. I mean that literally. In the eye of the storm, there is no one else, and as far as you can tell, the entire world is now gone. The peace, the beauty, and the overwhelming view up the vortex above all lead you to feel an intimacy with God. I felt loved in the eye, and even now that feeling moves me to tears."

David felt as though the Lord had protected him. God could have completely stopped the storm or kept David out of it, but he didn't. He chose to put David right in the middle of that tornado. As everything raged around him, God protected David, placing him in the safest part of the vortex.

As life's storms rip, spin and throw your emotions & body around, you can learn to rest in God's arms, morning, noon and night. The "eye of the storm" symbolizes God's love and peace. He is right at the heart, the middle, the center of your life, ready to keep you safe. Your tornado may be raging all around you, spinning out of control, but the Lord will keep you in his safe embrace, in His "Eye," His unending love. Call out to Him in prayer today and let Him carry you safely through.

"By His breath the skies became fair; His hand pierced the gliding serpent. And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him! Who then can understand the thunder of His power?"
Job 26:13-14

"Does God listen to his cry when distress comes upon him? Will he find delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times? I will teach you about the power of God: the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal. You have all seen this yourselves. Why then this meaningless talk?"
Job 27:9-12

"How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble! What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed! Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?"
Job 26: 2-4

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