The following is the Testimony of a friend Pastor Fred Huff. Pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church, Balko, OK, Brother Fred has given me permission to publish the article here. I hope you find it, as I did, both a blessing and a challenge to be about the Father’s business in what ever way we can.
Let Him Who Thinks He Stands Take Heed Lest He Fall
(a testimony and bible lesson from Fred Huff)
1 Cor 10:1-13 (NKJV)
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
“Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1Cor 10:12). In the first two months of 2010, the Lord brought this lesson home to me in a powerful way. A simple slip and fall on the ice nearly took my life several times and in several ways. It began with a concussion, which was quickly followed by multiple grand mal seizures, an out-of-rhythm heart, a bilateral sub-dural hematoma, deep vein thrombosis, and multiple pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs). Between January 6 and February 22, I have had four emergency ambulance rides, made five emergency room visits, been hospitalized four times, endured major brain surgery, and had a special filter installed in my chest to capture blood clots.
During this ordeal, which at times seemed to have no end, my wife and I have claimed 1Cor 10:13 in prayer literally hundreds of times. We stood on the promise that “God will make a way of escape”. We believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I have absolutely no doubt that I am alive at this moment because God is faithful to His word, and God’s people have been faithful to hold us up in prayer. I offer my praise to Jesus Christ the Lord as my Savior, my Deliverer, and my Healer. I offer my deepest thanks to all of you who have believed with us and have interceded for us.
At the time of this writing, the morning of February 22, I am awaiting release from the hospital after the installation of the blood clot filter. For the first time in weeks, my mind is clear, my body is completely free from pain, and I feel strong. I awakened early this morning with an insatiable desire to share my testimony with you and to glean from God’s word more of what He wants me to learn from this experience.
The first thing the Holy Spirit said to me was that I have been taking the promise of 1Cor 10:13 out of context. God certainly made a way of escape by sending His Son. But, He also made a way of escape by including in His word examples of what happened to the children of Israel.
A careful reading of first 10 verses of 1Cor 10 reveals five reasons that the children of Israel fell. The fifth and final reason, in verse 10, was that they refused to possess the promised land. When the 12 spies returned from spying out the land of Canaan, Joshua and Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Num 13:30). But the other 10 spies said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we….We were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Num 13:31 and 33).
The children of Israel had been miraculously delivered from Egypt by the blood of the lamb. They walked through the Red Sea on dry land and saw the Egyptian army drowned before their very eyes. They were willing to get up every morning and gather the manna from heaven. They were willing to drink the water from the rock and follow God’s presence in the pillar of cloud. They were willing to offer the sacrifices and worship in the tabernacle according to God’s instructions. What they were not willing to do was cross the border into Canaan’s land, face the giants, and fulfill God’s purpose for their lives! This failure is what the Lord is referring to when He said, “Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1Cor 10:12).
While lying on my back in the hospital, meditating on these things, with my physical survival still in doubt, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. He strongly convicted me that I must do my part to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15). Like the children of Israel, I have been faithfully “going through the motions” of serving the Lord, but I have failed to take the sword of the word of the Lord and possess the land, as God intended. I began to complain, just like the children of Israel. I remember saying to the Lord, “Father, I can’t even drive the car! I have less opportunity to spread the gospel now than ever!” I did not hear an audible voice, but I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me as clearly that morning as at any time in my life. He said, “This hospital room is your world right now. Are you willing to preach the gospel to every person who enters this room? You have a cell phone and a computer next to your bed. Are you willing to use these tools to preach the gospel whenever I give you an opportunity?”
I was so thrilled to realize that our merciful Father was offering me another chance that I wept like a child. Beginning at that moment, every person who walked into my room heard some portion of my testimony. The change in me and the changes in the people around me were both sudden and amazing.
Saundra and I were rejoicing together at supper time when my doctor called with the shocking news that they had discovered a blood clot in my lung. He said he would be contacting a lung specialist and I would probably need to go to Amarillo in a few days to deal with this new problem. Saundra called some of the people in our church. After the Wednesday night service, several of them came to the hospital to pray for me and share communion with us. My nurse, who had been so receptive to listen to my testimony, eagerly joined in praying with us and shared communion with us. I felt great victory that evening.
I slept free of pain that night, for the first time in days. The next morning I awakened with a rush of joy in my heart. I began praying Mark 11:23, commanding the mountain of the blood clot to “be removed and be cast into the sea”. I had an early appointment with the physical therapist, whom I already knew to be a wonderful Christian. She was amazed at my progress and we praised the Lord together. I was feeling so well that I was sure the doctor would send me home that day. Then the phone rang and my doctor said words that seemed unbelievable. “The lung specialist says the blood clot in your lung is very dangerous. An ambulance will be here in 30 minutes to take you to Amarillo as an emergency. They will probably be installing a blood clot filter.”
Saundra was expecting me to call her and tell her what time I would be released to go home. When I gave her the news, I could hear her gasp, but she bravely pulled herself together and began making plans for another trip to Amarillo. God has certainly blessed me with a wonderful partner. She has loved me and stood by me far more than I deserve. And, thank God for our wonderful church people. One of our ladies immediately agreed to ride with Saundra and stayed with her for the first two nights. She and her husband even paid the motel bill!
When the ambulance arrived, I did not know how to feel. I had taken three ambulance rides previously during this ordeal, but I was more or less unconscious for each of those. This time I knew both ambulance attendants and I told the driver, “I can probably outrun you from here to that ambulance”. During that 2-hour ride, I had plenty of opportunity to share my testimony with those fine men.
When we got to Amarillo, they put me straight to bed with orders that I was not to get up, not even to go to restroom, and I was to avoid moving my legs as much as possible. They did another CT-scan, which revealed that I had at least one blood clot in each lung. I was extremely uncomfortable all night, slept very little, and spent nearly every waking moment in prayer.
The doctor said they would install the blood clot filter “first thing in the morning”. I was not allowed to eat or drink until after the procedure, so I was more than ready for them to take me at 6:00 am. But, they did not come. My nurse, who by now had heard my testimony and was agreeing with me in prayer, checked and said they would take me at 1:00 pm. Although they had been running IV fluids through me for nearly 24 hours, my mouth and throat were so dry I could hardly stand it. When 1:00 pm came and went, I began praying with every breath, “I can do all things through Christ, Who is strengthening me right now!”
They finally came for me about 2:15 pm. The surgeon explained that they were “working me into the schedule”, and it was a very busy day. I prayed for everyone in the operating room, asked the Lord for a successful surgery, and did my best to share my testimony with them. Just about the time I thought they were ready to begin, the nurse said, “We’re all finished”. I was amazed. I had felt absolutely no pain, and the complex blood clot filter was installed and doing its’ job. Then I realized those blood clots were being cast into the sea! God had answered my prayer, and with lightning speed!
The most difficult part of the recovery was lying flat on my back and not moving my right leg for four hours. Lying there gave me severe pain in my lower back. I watched the clock continually. Each time a minute passed I would say something like, “Thank You Lord that You have helped me through the first 47 minutes, and I believe You will help me get through the next 3 hours and 13 minutes!” I was allowed to sip a little water and eat some “finger food”. That was a blessing. Thank the Lord that Sister Brenda Martin called when I had five more minutes to wait. Her comforting words and prayer helped through those final minutes.
When the four hours finally passed, at 7:00 pm, I was so thankful and ready to get up! The lower back pain soon subsided and I discovered that I was nearly pain free. I took two Tylenol about 9:00 pm, and needed nothing else for pain until my release from the hospital three days later.
I slept well that night, but found myself wide awake at 4:00 am the next morning, which was Saturday, February 20. I felt so good that all I wanted to do was praise the Lord. As I began praying, the Holy Spirit reminded me that this was the day of the Solemn Assembly in Baxter Springs, and that the theme was “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. I prayed for everyone that I knew was ministering in the Solemn Assembly. I prayed for every church in the movement and all of our pastors. I prayed for AFBC and all of our camps. I prayed for all of our friends at Capitol Hill Assembly of God in Oklahoma City. I prayed for myself and my wife. These were not silent prayers. I’m not sure what all the nurses on my floor thought, but they must have known that I was either earnestly seeking the Lord, or I was completely out of my mind!
When 6:00 am rolled around, my eyes fell on the cell phone beside my bed. The Holy Spirit reminded me, “You promised to use that tool to help spread the gospel”. I immediately called Gaylon Flora, Coby Cook, and Ron Noble. I had a wonderful conversation with each of these precious minister brothers. They encouraged me, and I tried to encourage them. I did not get to enjoy that Solemn Assembly in person, but I’ll guarantee you I was there in the spirit, and it was wonderful!
Later that morning, my wife came in with a worship DVD, called “365 Promises”, that she found at the bible book store. I did not feel like typing on my computer yet, so we just put in that DVD and let it play. It consists of beautiful scenery, soothing piano music, and a promise from the word of God with every picture. As I lay in bed reading those promises out loud, I felt like I was in the most wonderful worship service of my entire life. I let it play for hours and hours, tearfully rejoicing. In the middle of the night, I awakened to find my nurse standing beside my bed. Tears were running down her cheeks as she read the promises. I shared my testimony with her and we prayed together. When she left, I realized that God had already allowed me to use both my cell phone and my computer in a small way to help spread the gospel. Praise the Lord!
We have been home from the hospital since Monday night, February 22. I am getting stronger day by day. I was thrilled to get to attend Wednesday night Prayer Meeting and Bible Study at our church on the 24th. They even let me share my testimony!
We were able to attend the Saturday morning session of the Solemn Assembly in Laverne on February 27. What a thrill it was to be there in person and see that God is convicting many in our fellowship to rededicate themselves to the business of winning the lost!
I was able to attend both services on Sunday, February 28, in Balko. What a privilege to be back in our home church and worship again! Our men have done a wonderful job of filling in for me during my illness, and God is meeting all of our needs. I am asking the Lord to allow me to return to the pulpit on March 7.
To all my brothers and sisters in Christ: Please heed the warnings from the word of God! Any of us can fall. Learn from the example of the children of Israel, and learn from my own example. It is way past time for us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives by spreading the gospel. I have had more success in spreading the gospel in the past few days, while recovering from major surgery and unable to drive, than I have had in many months, when I was completely healthy. It’s really not that complicated. Just devote yourself to the word of God and prayer, fill your mind and your mouth with praise and faith-filled words, and be ready and willing to share your testimony at every opportunity. Those giants are starting to look like grasshoppers to me, and I know that I can do all things through Christ, Who is continuing to strengthen me, day by day.
May God bless you all, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
P.S. My neurosurgeon says my case is “one of the most unusual” he has ever seen. It would have been so easy for there to have been a “mid-line shift” in my brain, causing paralysis or some other serious brain damage. I believe the Lord Himself protected me from that, and I believe He intends to fully restore both my brain and my body for His service. Praise the Lord! And, thank you again to everyone who has prayed for me.