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When I was 17-years-old, I got a job with Texaco Oil Company. The year was 1967 and the oil industry was kicking at full speed. Jobs were everywhere along the bayous of South Louisiana and a kid like me could get a summer job working offshore on the drilling rig with no problem.

Just about every man I knew worked in the oil field. Shell, Texaco, Mobile, Chevron - all the big names drilled out in the Gulf of Mexico and they provided jobs for most of South Louisiana. A lot of kids my age went to work offshore because at $2.15 an hour, it was better money than sacking groceries. And, of course, you got experience in the oil industry, which would probably end up being your life's work. You got to see what it was like to live in the middle of the open sea, 150 miles off the coast on a drilling platform. You got to see what it was like to be away from home for weeks on end.

On a rig, nobody goes home at 5:00 o'clock. You're out there working six days on, six days off; seven days on, seven days off, etc. Sometimes it is a real adventure, especially if there is weather trouble brewing in the Gulf. For offshore workers, it isn't a big deal to see 15-foot swells hitting the derrick. And if a hurricane comes, well, you get right with God pretty quick! An atheist will cry out, "Oh God help us!" and a Baptist will speak in tongues when they're stuck in the middle of the Gulf with a 150-miles-per-hour winds whirling and rocking the rig!

For a kid, the best part about an offshore summer job was that if you saved your money, you could buy a brand new car by the time school started. After all, in the 60's a new car went for $3,200.00 and you could get a beautiful, brand new, shiny Volkswagen for just $1,795.00. For me, at 17, a new car was like the Holy Grail. I spent my life just hoping to get my hands on it.

That summer, I started at the bottom of the Texaco totem pole as a "flunky." They flew me out by helicopter and we landed on the drilling platform, which was 140 miles from the coast. Now, when you're a flunky, your job is to help the cook prepare meals for the men who work on the rig.

The oil field executives know that when you keep a bunch of men out on a rig for seven days straight, you'd better keep them fed - and keep them fed good. So, there was a lot of work for flunkies like me and I kept real busy chopping, boiling and cooking. I chopped onions. I chopped tomatoes. I boiled eggs and peeled potatoes. I woke up at 4:40 a.m. to help make breakfast for the guys. Whatever the head cook said, I did. In fact, whatever anyone said to do, I did, because I was the lowest on the pole. Chain of command is law in the oil field and if you don't follow the rules, you get shipped home. It's as simple as that.

So you can imagine my surprise when one day I went into the kitchen to peel potatoes and heard the cook say, "Jesse, the tool pusher wants to see you."

The tool pusher, I thought, what does he want with me?

The tool pusher was the head honcho on the rig. He was in charge of all the tools needed for drilling on the rig and was everybody's boss. He wore a big cowboy hat and blue jeans. He had a Texas accent. He smoked tobacco and looked good doing it. He was bad. He was the boss. And, I never talked to him because, after all, I was just a flunky.

But I had done one thing, especially for him, that I thought he might have remembered. I peeled his tomatoes. The tool pusher didn't like skin on a tomato. He wanted the skin peeled off. So, as the flunky, I got that job. I peeled those tomatoes and even got the chance to serve them to him once.

I flew out of the kitchen to see what he wanted.

Now, the tool pusher had his own little living quarters on the platform separate from the rest of us, and we called it his "shack." As I was going towards it, the radio operator stopped me. He looked me up and down, grimaced and asked, "What are you doing in here?"

"I need to talk to the tool pusher!"

"What for?" he demanded.

"Look, don't get mad at me, Jack. The tool pusher wants to see me!"

I heard a voice from the shack.

"That flunky out there?"

I answered loud and with respect,

"Yes sir!"

"Come on in here."

I walked past the radio operator towards the tool pusher's office. I tried to be discreet as I looked around. Little red stars, I thought to myself, Texaco's logo. It's on everything. Hey, he's got a desk, I thought to myself. It was impressive.

He looked up at me and said, "Did you notice the front of this building?"

"Yes Sir."

"It's dirty. I want you to clean it."

I was nervous. I was excited. I couldn't think of much.

In a monotone voice I nervously repeated him, "You want me to clean this building. How am I am going to clean this building?"

"We got a fire hose over there, boy. We got a pump. Boy, we got a pump that can pump a thousand feet of casing and tubing. Just hook that pump up and wash off this building. I don't like all this junk out here. Get all this oil and dope off. I want you to clean all that up." (Just in case you don't know, "dope" is a sticky mix of oil, gulf water and mud - not marijuana!)

"Can you do that, boy?"

"Yes sir, I can!" My confidence started to perk back up.

"If you do a good job, I might make you a roustabout."

Oh God, I thought, a roustabout! They make $3.20 an hour. Yeah, I want to be a roustabout. I can make some money and buy myself a car.

"Sir," I said, "when I get finished with this building, it will be so clean that you'll be able to drag your tongue across the front of this building without getting a speck of dust!"

He just looked at me for a second and then said, "Well, I'll tell ya one thang, we'll see about that, young man. You think you can get it done by this afternoon?" "

Yes sir, I can!" I said and ran back to the kitchen.

"I ain't peeling potatoes today! I'm gonna wash the tool pushers shack! He asked me to wash his shack!"

Now, I'm not what you'd call a mechanical man. I'm not good with tools and I don't know how to fix much. My wife can put an engine back together with a butter knife, but me? Well, let's just say that God didn't gift me in that area.

So I was looking at the pump and the fittings and trying to find a decent hose to hook it up to. We called water hoses "hose pipes" back then. I hollered out, "Anybody know where the hose pipe is? Tool pusher wants me to clean his shack and I'm looking for the hose! I can't find it!" A guy came over and showed me where the hoses were. He pulled one out and said, "Here, use this." I looked at the one he selected. It was narrow and thin and I thought, Man, it'll take forever to clean off this building with this little hose. So, after he walked away I went searching through the stack for a bigger one.

I was digging through the tubing when my eyes landed on a big, five-inch hose. That'll do it, I thought as I unraveled it from the bunch. Then, I looked through the fittings. I found a brass one that was just the right size. I was excited. As I cranked the big, brass fitting onto the hose I thought to myself, I'm going to do the best job ever! I ran towards the pump to stretch out the hose and hook it up.

One of the roustabouts saw me going past with the hose.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm gonna wash off the building"

"With that?"


He laughed and said, "Oh man, I've got to see this! I've got to see this!"

What's he laughing at? I thought and snapped back, "Listen here, man. Tool pusher told me to do this."

"Ok. Do you want me to help you put the pump on?"

"Yeah!" I said and started stretching out the hose towards the shack.

I know now that he was thinking, Look at this idiot. But I was only 17-years-old. I had one hair on my chest and thought I knew something. So, I grabbed my hard hat and the hose and yelled, "Ok! Turn on the pump!"

Now, I didn't know it but I was about to tap into the source. I didn't know that I was just about to break the power of natural law.

The roustabout gently pulled the valve handle down. A little stream of water started trickling out the end of my hose. But, instead of continuing to turn the valve so that the water would come out fully, he stopped and looked up at me. I was standing by the shack holding the end of the hose looking back at him.

He didn't move for a second or so. Then, he ran over to me and said, "If you want any more pressure, you've got to turn that valve on the pump." He didn't want to turn the valve. So, I looked at that small stream, sighed, dropped the hose and I ran over to the pump. When I got to it, I looked up at him and asked, "Is it this one?" He was backing away as he nodded. I yanked down on the valve hard because, well, I didn't want a little stream of water. I wanted some water. Well, let me tell you something. I got some water...and plenty of it.

All of a sudden that pump let out a deep, whistling groan and the hose started to shake and straighten with the force of what felt like a Red Sea of water trying to make it's way through the hose.

I started to run.

Straight to the shack I went! It was a long winding hose and luckily I was able to grab the end of it as the water began to gush out. You wouldn't believe the water...a solid, five-inch circle of water came rushing out like a runaway train. The pressure was shaking me and it was then, holding on to that fat hose, that I realized I was in big, big trouble. I could not control it.

Whack! Water hit the metal building with so much force that the whole shack shook! The hose was whipping and whirling and flapping with me on the end and suddenly glass started flying. The water had busted out the windows and the radio operator started hollering. I was hosing him down and his chair was rolling back and forth in circles on the floor.

The hose was shaking my whole body and I was sliding all over the deck as it snaked out gallons and gallons of water. I wanted to let go but I knew that if I did, it would beat me to death! So I held on! It took all I had to keep my body on the platform. People on the rig started hollering and running towards the pump. The roustabout that had helped me wasn't laughing anymore. He was trying to pull up on the valve to cut off the water. But something happened. He jerked hard and between the water pressure and his pulling, the lever cracked off at the base. When that happened, I felt the force of water increase in the hose I thought to myself, This is it Jack, I am going up! And I was right.

Whoosh! I was in the air! My body jerked off the ground and I put a death grip on the hose! That hose bumped me up and down, smacking my legs on the platform and whipping me up in the air. I was flipping and flopping and holding on for dear life. All I could do was scream.

"Helllllllp! Hellllllp meeee! Sooommmebodddy helllllllp!"

One grown man cannot hold a five-inch fire hose and maintain control. Now, consider what it can do to a skinny boy like me! I didn't weigh any more than 120-pounds and that hose had complete control of my life.

The motor man came running with a sledgehammer and started beating the pump full force trying to turn the broken valve off. He whacked that broken valve with a sledgehammer so hard that it finally turned. Instantly, I started to fall.

Now, when the water died down, I was in the middle of a high-flying whip of water. I must have been 15 or 20-feet in the air when the water pressure stopped. Wham! I came down hard on the platform with my body still wrapped around the hose and my fingers still clenched tight. Talk about white knuckles. The tool pusher ran out towards me and looked down at me as I lay on the platform. His brows were crinkled and he had a confused look on his face.

Heaving with exhaustion and soaked to the bone, I looked up at the tool pusher and gasped, "It's clean, Sir! It's clean!"

The tool pusher's expression didn't change. He looked up at the building. The windows were blown out and the platform was drenched in water. He looked back at me.

"I'll tell ya one thang, it sure is clean, boy. But, I'll tell you this. I asked you to clean the outside, not the inside. You know what I'm saying?"

The radio operator came staggering out. He was aggravated and drenched to the bone.

"I never thought I'd drown out here at my desk," he said as he looked down at me in disgust.

"But, Sir," I told the tool pusher, "There ain't a piece of dirt on it. Just look there."

"There ain't a window in it either, boy. You almost killed that radio operator."

I was flat worn out and I thought I was going to be fired right then and there. I didn't want to be fired lying down, so I let go of the hose and stood to my feet.

"It broke," I said, "I didn't know what to do with it." It was all I could think of to say.

Then that tool pusher did something I had never seen him do. He started to laugh. Then, he grabbed me around the head, put his arm around my neck and whispered in my ear, "I never did like that radio operator anyway. He's too smart for his britches."
"Yes sir," I whispered back, "he is" and sighed with relief.

I found out what it meant to tap into a Greater Power; to tap into the Source

That day in 1967 was one I will never forget. It was a major event in my young life and has created a memory that will be etched in my mind forever. I'm sure it's etched on the minds of a few others, too! That day taught me a very valuable lesson, one that I later came to see as a good comparison to Christianity. I believe the story vividly illustrates a powerful truth. That day in 1967, I learned what it meant to tap into the source. I learned what it meant to be controlled by a greater power. And, I found out how easy it is to be destructive when there is power in your hand. I felt what it was like to break natural law.

You see, there is enough power in God to fill you to overflowing and break the power of natural law. There is enough power in His Word to heal your body or deliver you from any circumstance. The power is present not only to take care of you, but also to empower you to help others.

Source: Breaking the Power of Natural Law by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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