Miracle is one of those words that have been weakened through overuse. From unexpected sports victories to the return of long-lost pets, we apply it to common everyday events. Along the way, it has lost the “divine” element.
On February 5 Union University in Jackson, Tennessee was hit by an EF-4 tornado. Millions across the country watched frantic rescue efforts on the morning news. We were astounded at the reports that though 18 dormitories were demolished and over $40 million damage was sustained, not one life was lost. In the words of the survivors, “it was a miracle.”
In God in the Whirlwind: Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University you will read the stories of the faculty, students, and staff that were caught in the fury of a storm boasting winds over 200 miles per hour. Tim Ellsworth has compiled and recounted these personal testimonies of God’s grace. Students caught in the destruction, trapped beneath piles of rubble, or working desperately to rescue their friends all give credit to the providential care of God. Beyond the accounts of physical protection are the stories of spiritual transformation. Strengthened faith, conversions, and answered questions demonstrate that God’s hand was in the storm.
In each story, the author draws a compelling, yet complete portrait of faith in spite of fear. He avoids airbrushing the survivors or their faith. He refrains from sensationalism and presents faith in all its wonderful complexity. Experiencing the same questions, doubts, and emotions expected of anyone in their circumstances, does not diminish their faith, it highlights it. Rather than focusing on the tenacity of the individual, it attracts the reader to the sovereign power of God.
From the events on the night of the storm to the rebuilding and recovery efforts in the weeks following, the hand of God is clearly “traced upon the dial” of Union University. Reading these stories will strengthen your faith in the God who still performs miracles.