Like most of us, I remember spending time listening to stories of my parents’ childhood experiences. Both my parents were born less than a decade after the turn of the 20th Century, so when they began to tell about their early years, it was like getting a history lesson.
My father’s parents were farmers, as were the majority of Americans at the time. They lived in eastern Oklahoma. In that part of the country, the weather phenomenon known as the tornado was all too common. Swirling winds of high velocity can destroy lives and property in mere seconds. In those days, there was neither television nor doppler radar to let you know when a twister was coming.
Dad and his 2 brothers were playing outside one day when their parents saw a storm coming. Their mother grabbed a quilt from the house and ran outside to get the children. She scooped up George, my dad’s older brother, and his father got Clyde, the younger brother, and began running toward the house. Since he “didn’t have any more parents,” my father ran along behind his mother.
But the winds were already getting strong. Suddenly, my dad realized he wasn’t on the ground anymore. The wind had picked him up; his legs were rocking from the knees down. He had no control over his movements. He was blown toward the wooden rail fence that was nearest the house. Mercifully, the fence stopped him, but he still couldn’t get his feet on the ground.
By this time, his mother realized that her middle son was no longer behind her. When she looked and saw him by the fence, she shouted above the noise of the raging wind for her husband to get George into the house. With the quilt around her, she ran from the steps of their house to the fence where my father was dangling in the air.
It was too late to get back to the house; the tornado was upon them. My grandmother wrapped the quilt around herself and my father. She then wriggled beneath the bottom rail of the fence and trusted the good Lord that the storm would not rip the fence out of the ground. The fence held, and they rode out the storm together.
“The Angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” --Psalm 34:7 (NKJV)
Grandmother was in her 20’s when this incident occurred. She was a Godly woman who prayed every day, not just in emergencies. The Lord rescued her and my father, I believe, because she feared Him.
As the years went by, my grandparents had six more children, all girls. Of those nine siblings, my father was the first to live to the age of 90. God is faithful to those who fear Him and choose righteousness.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” ---Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)
He is our Deliverer,
Faith Arrow Ministries International