God picks up Brenda Jean White.
He picks her up and places her on a small, carpeted landing in a stairwell just outside her office.
It is May 25th, 2011, in Sedalia, Missouri, at 12:59 p.m. Tornado sirens are sounding off and on all morning. Still, the weather remains an uneventful, dreary gray at Don's Truck Towing in Sedalia. This is where Brenda works as an office clerk. She and her fellow assistants work in a double-wide trailer that serves as the office for Don's—an office connected to Don's main building by an enclosed stairwell.
As the tornado siren howls again, Brenda glances outside. The weather has changed. Darkness seems to engulf the trees whipping back and forth. Brenda and her fellow workers decide to go down to the main building where it is safer. As they rush down the enclosed stairwell, they try to close the door behind them. It won't close. Something unseen and terrible holds it open. The tornado.
Brenda records the next seconds as a series of mental snapshots. The ceiling is obliterated. Wood paneling peels up the walls leaving trembling bare studs. Geodetic shapes swirl around and around in the dark. Through the window, she sees her car—here one minute, then gone. And then she sees IT. A twirling roaring monstrosity … Satan's carrousel. And it is right outside the window. Brenda prays, "Jesus, save us."
Brenda doesn't pray out of panic. Instead, she prays as a daughter of God. She is a Christian who has a tremendous heart for God and who lives and works her faith. And God is there. He picks Brenda up and lays her gently down on the carpeted landing. His warm peace covers her, and from the safety of His hand, she watches her world disintegrate around her. It was, she says, "The hand of God" holding her on that landing. The stairs tear away above her. She feels a tug at her elbow and realizes her pocketbook is being sucked away. She grasps it harder and fights against the winds that clutch at her and threaten to strip away her clothing.
And then it is over.
Brenda's ears are filled with dirt, and she has a souvenir from the paint shop next door. Green paint has sandblasted through her clothes onto her body. But she and her coworkers are safe.
Brenda Jean White knew where her shelter lay in a time of trouble. Without thinking, she prayed, and God answered. A lifetime of worship, of studying the Word, and of walking and talking with Christ prepared her for this single moment of terror.
When terror strikes you, will you be prepared? Lean on God, always.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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