I was raised in a very conservative religious home and witnessed a plethora of miracles as I grew into adulthood. My parents, Euel and Esther Nordin, are the most authentic Christians I know, and they not only ingrained into my two sisters and I the belief in the miraculous, but they also placed us in a position to see the miraculous.
The following story took place when I was 4 years old. Our family was in a personal crisis and would cease to exist in the way we knew it without a miracle from God.
To my parents, my older sister and myself, the memories of a fateful day in July 1963 are as vivid today as when they happened 50 years ago. At age 31, Dad was working with his brother-in-law, cutting timber for a lumber company in the mountains northeast of Meyers Flat, Calif. My dad’s work was physically taxing and very dangerous.
At about three o’clock in the afternoon, Dad cut down a tree and could not escape its path as it crashed to the ground. The flailing tree trunk had chopped into his midsection and hammered him into the ground, then bounced up and made ready to crash upon him one final time. He was watching this scene play out like a bad movie in slow motion, but his body was broken and unable to move. He was as limp as a rag doll, left vulnerable and powerless against whatever came next.
Then, with the trunk of the 60-foot fir driving down toward him one more time, another miracle happened. “Something moved me,” he says now, through tears. “It was supernatural. I was not able to move at all, but when the trunk of that tree crushed me and for a split second bounced into the air, I felt a hand drag me in an instant out from beneath the path of the tree. I wasn’t pulled sideways; I was snatched headfirst out of the path of the descending tree.”
This all happened in a blur—an unseen, inexplicable hand moved him head first in one motion more than six feet, until his entire body was miraculously removed from the path of the descending tree.
The other loggers heard my dad’s cries for help, then loaded him into the back of a Jeep and drove him to the nearest hospital in Garberville. Dad was crushed so badly that the hospital staff did not believe he would live. The local surgeon was on vacation, so, consequently, apart from administering pain medication, he underwent no medical procedures for one week. By the time the surgeon returned, gangrene had set in, and life was slipping away.
Anyone who knows anything about medicine would readily agree that an untreated internal injury that has breached the intestines and colon and gone untreated for a week is almost always fatal. The infection from the leaking intestines and breached colon had spread throughout Dad’s abdomen, and the only way a person can possibly recover from such a condition is to experience a miracle.
Despite being mangled and torn, waiting seven days for surgery as gangrene took over his abdomen, and laying on a broken hip that went unset, Dad found new energy after the operation. Three weeks after the near fatal accident and two weeks after major surgery, Dad walked out of the hospital with the help of a set of crutches. He was grateful to be out in the sunshine that August day and glad to be alive.
Everywhere he went, he heard the same thing: “You’re a miracle. You are lucky to be alive.”
“No one had to tell me, of course,” Dad says, “but every time I heard it from a doctor, I understood what a miracle God had done for me.” Today my dad and mom pastor a church in Russellville, Ark. Not too bad for an 81-year-old man who was expected to die in 1963! Only God can do a thing like that. It is called a miracle.
Don Nordin is pastor of CT Church Houston, a congregation with more than 2,000 people in weekly attendance. With a focus on training leaders, he travels extensively as a speaker in revivals, camp meetings and conferences. He lives with his wife in Houston, Texas. His book, The Audacity of Prayer, released Feb. 4. Purchase a copy here.