November 16, 2006 – It was a regular working day for Bruce Van Natta, a self-employed diesel mechanic from Wisconsin. He had fixed the coolant leak on a logging truck (Imagine how big that is!) and just as he was packing up and getting ready to leave, the truck driver requested him to check on an oil leak. So Bruce got under the front axle of the truck to check on it. But the jack that was holding up the truck gave way and Bruce was crushed by the 10,000-pound truck!
He was in so much pain that all he could do was cry out, “Lord, help me!” And the Lord indeed helped him by sending two angels to tend to his body, recounts Bruce of his near-death experience. “At that point, I became unconscious. My spirit left my body and floated into the ceiling, and now my spirit is looking at the accident scene from above.” The driver could not get him out from under the truck as he knew Bruce had shattered bones and it was not wise to move him. But the driver was not alone. “I realized there was a huge angel on either side of my body.” (For many of us who are curious as to what an angel looks like, Bruce describes: “They would have been about eight feet tall. They didn’t have wings – just very, very broad shoulders.”)
Likewise, there were also two voices in his head. “One was, ‘Shut your eyes and give up and die.’ It was very loud. There was another voice in my head, much quieter. Much more of a whisper, ‘If you want to live, you’re going to have to fight and you are going to have to fight hard.’”
He chose to live – and started his long fight for recovery.
In addition to the severed five arteries, his pancreas and spleen were crushed, two vertebrae were broken, and most of his small intestine obliterated. Doctors doubted that he would survive the next few hours. But not only did he live through a few hours but he also endured five surgeries in the next couple of months.
But then there was the problem of his small intestines. It had been reduced to three feet when the average length of the small intestine for an adult is 20 feet. The doctors said he will not live for more than a year as he can only be fed intravenously and his weight dropped drastically (from 185 to 126 lbs.)
But an acquaintance from New York named Bruce Carlson heard about Bruce Van Natta’s condition from a prayer chain and was led by the Spirit to buy a ticket to Wisconsin so he can pray over Bruce. Carlson’s bold prayer was: “Lord, I add my prayers to all the other prayers for Bruce. In the name of Jesus, I command you small intestine to grow back right now.” Instantly, Bruce felt what seemed like a snake rolling around in his stomach.
It was confirmed later on that his small intestines have indeed tripled. And he gained back the 40 pounds that he lost because of the accident.
“Over and over, God was showing miracles were happening. My intestines miraculously came back. My pancreas rejuvenated by itself. My spleen rejuvenated by itself. Miracle after miracle, God just kept showing up and showing Himself very real and very strong – that He is a miracle worker.
And now, a decade after the accident, Bruce Van Natta has authored 2 books: Saved by Angels and A Miraculous Life which details the divine encounters he has had with God throughout several points in his life as well as other faith-building stories. He has also given up his business to go into full time Christian ministry. He is the founder and president of Sweet Bread Ministries, sharing how God talks to everyday people through angels. Bruce Carlson, the man who prayed over him in the hospital, also serves with him in the ministry. Bruce considers himself as an ordinary person, an everyday man. And his life message is that God’s love is for everyday people, everyday!
Indeed, we do not know what each day brings; but with God on our side, we know we will always emerge victorious.
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