XXXI. A killer tree spike, a lightening strike
by Bill Hunt
Large graceful deer leap the road and jump the fence into my woods and fields. Wild boar run deep in the forest. Foxes and coyotes range as occasional pests. I treasure my favorite daily past time watching never-ending varieties of colorful wild birds at my feeders out the living room window under the ever-leafy magnolia tree.
God gave us a house of prayer in a place of peace. This we find essential as my wife and I work our ministries in prison education in large state facilities. As such, our professions rate extremely stressful.
This, too, becomes our place of prayer, world intercession, and personal ministry. Mary's and my favorite retreat time for prayer begins early in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays.
One day in the house, I gathered my tools, ready to enter the woods to cut trees with my chain saw. As I prepared, the Lord spoke to me.
"Wear your sun helmet." I had selected my soft sun cap. A moment later, the words came again.
"Wear your sun helmet." I started to listen, but continued the task of gathering my tools.
"Wear your sun helmet!"
When I hear the Lord three times, I know I can no longer consider it my imagination. It's time to obey! So I took off my soft cap and put on my sun helmet. The hard, old tan sun helmet came from a garage sale.
A military veteran wore it during the military campaigns in Borneo, his elderly wife informed me. Like a jungle safari helmet, a leather headband inside holds the brim up off the head to create a cool airspace.
I set about to cut down the second tree in the woods when it happened. From the height of the thirty-six foot pine tree, the top portion of the tree trunk, covered in boughs, mysteriously broke off. A six-foot spike dropped rapidly straight toward the top of my head.
The spike hit the direct top of my sun helmet with a high impact thud, jarred my neck, and bounced to the ground with a thump. It stood for a moment, looking like a Christmas tree, and then lopped to the forest floor. The tree hit like a missile and would have killed me.
The hard military sun helmet protected the center of my head. I stood there stunned, absolutely amazed, recalling God's kindly warnings. I realized this would have split my head open.
"No weapon forged against you will prevail… this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17 NIV).
Soon after, Mary and I attended the funeral of her dear Uncle Al DiMarco in Upstate New York. While we were away, a tremendous storm hit our house in Florida. We learned about it by phone on our long drive home.
Lightening struck our feeder power lines to the house knocking them down on the left side lawn. The live electricity lines then touched the wire fencing to the sheep yard.
Around our back acre field behind the house, the electricity flashed along the fence line until it reached our large propane gas tank at the rear right side of our house. The tank began to burn.
By God's intervention, at that moment in the blinding rainstorm, winds, and thunder, a passing "Good Samaritan" driver pulled his SUV over to the side of the road to wait out the downpour. He just happened to park along the side of the road right out front of our house.
When he looked up, he saw through the rainstorm a red hot, glowing propane tank getting brighter and brighter. Quickly, he phoned 911 on his cell phone. Five fire companies responded from the surrounding towns, Wellborn, White Springs, and Lake City.
With a sparking screwdriver, the firemen discovered the deadly electricity on the live fence, disconnected the power lines, and doused the burning tank before it exploded. It could have burned the house to the ground and started a forest fire.
"When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).
The electricity traveling the propane gas line entered the house and knocked out the furnace electrical system. From the feeder lines to the house, electricity also toasted our green reading lamp in the living room to a char. The wall beside it did not catch fire.
We used this lamp to read our Bibles in prayer. The repeating electrical shorts destroyed a portable stereo in the kitchen and two radio alarm clocks in the bedrooms. No other major appliances smoked. We soon exchanged the propane tank and repaired the furnace.
While we traveled far away unaware, God saved our home.
As God's servants, do we dare doubt the devil attacks us directly even as God defends and protects us divinely?
(True story #31 in series “100 Million Miracles.”)
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Bill, I too have heard His pleas to me. The first one is easy to ignore, the second one makes you take notice, but when He tells us three times to do something, we had better heed.
His interventions into our daily activities become a reality when we choose to obey and follow.
God’s Blessings to you, always . . . Debby