Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mythbusters Tornado Shield

As a kid, I was always fascinated by tornados. Ok, it was more utter fear than anything. But now that I'm older, shows like Storm Chasers on Discovery kind of intrigue me. I mean, the whole premise is people purposefully driving as close as possible to the biggest tornados they can find. Now that's worth watching.

Imagine my delight when I saw one of my favorite shows (Mythbusters) team up with two of the Storm Chasers crew in order to test how their vehicles would fair in maximum tornado-force winds. Tornados + Science + TV = DVR this now.

After the TIVs (tornado intercept vehicles) were tested in up to 250 mph winds behind the jet engine of a 747, Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters attempted to construct a "personal tornado shield" for protection outside of those specialized SUVs.

The shield had to be portable, so at first glance, it looked like a flimsy tent with some panels on the front. Jamie crawled inside to test his invention, and this video shows what happened:

When he emerged after surviving 180 mph winds, he talked about the raw power of the wind, how terrifying it was to be in the dark, and feeling like he was being beaten. Yet, the shield was a great success, having withstood the intense force of the jet engine at full throttle.

It occurred to me as I watched that this experiment illustrated a greater truth than just how much wind a man can endure. During this time of intense trial and spiritual attack, I've found that I don't stand a chance against the storms that rage against me unless I have a shield to protect me. My church recently taught a vital series on the armor of God, reminding me of how the Bible equips me to withstand the powerful attack of the Enemy.

Hanging on for dear life, I cling to my shield of faith, trusting that no matter what debris comes flying my way that I can withstand the hit. Having faith in Christ doesn't necessarily take away the feelings of powerlessness, fear, doubt, or even physical suffering, but what it does do is cover me with peace that doesn't depend on circumstances. It gets me through the trial intact, as a survivor.

When you are suffering strong storms in your life and it feels like God is letting Satan push that throttle forward so that you can't stand on your own, remember to cling not to what you feel but to what you know - the truth of God's Word. Trusting the Bible relentlessly through trial is what anchors us to the Rock of Christ, our foundation.

Through faith in Jesus and relationship with him, he gives us his strength to endure, enabling us to withstand far more than we could by ourselves. With His protection, when the wind is finally shut off, we will be led home safely, intact, as blessed survivors.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27

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